John, a young gay man from Manchester, fled his homophobic father’s attacks after coming out to his parents.

John spent a couple of weeks sleeping in a gay sauna, as it provided warmth during the freezing winter nights, although this made him more vulnerable.

He also admitted to stealing a cheap bottle of wine one day in order to be arrested and spend a night in the security of a police cell. John then met a gay couple who offered him a room in their flat, which he accepted without knowing anything about them. It soon became evident that they were controlling and violent. They ‘milked’ John for money, took his benefits off him, pawned some of his possessions and made advances on him when they had been drinking. Because of this, John was prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping tablets for anxiety and depression, although he was afraid of taking his sleeping tablets for fear of what the men would do to him if he fell asleep. John contacted akt stating he was homeless. John had an appointment with the local authority but during the assessment process he was too upset to complete it. akt helped him get through the assessment and he was subsequently awarded a duty of care by the local authority as a vulnerable adult and offered emergency accommodation. He decided to stay at the flat through fear of blackmail.

akt supported John in making a housing application for his own accommodation, helped him complete the forms and supported him in attending medical assessments.

But having stayed at the flat, John’s depression was becoming worse and he disclosed that he was trying to order poison off the internet in order to take his own life. akt liaised with the mental health crisis intervention team and supported him throughout the sessions. At one point John came into the office and emotionally broke down, stating he wanted to take his own life and had the poison on him. akt staff took John to Accident and Emergency so that he could receive appropriate medical attention. A few days later John returned to the office stating he was now ready to leave the couple. The local authority has now rehoused John in supported lodgings.

We believe no young person should have to choose between a safe home and being who they are. If you'd like to support our work with young LGBTQ+ people facing or experiencing homelessness, click here.

Photo: Jamie Scoular

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