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Del ended up sleeping rough after his dad threw him out. And when he first asked the council for housing, they weren't much help.
'I was always arguing with my dad and had thought about running away. But in the end, he told me he didn't want me around and threw me out when I turned 16.'
Problems with the council
'A mate told me that the best place to get help would be the council - that they'd get me a place of my own. But the council wouldn't help. They said I had to get a month's notice in writing from my parents first. I definitely didn't want to go back there for a month, and my dad hadn't given me notice anyway - he'd just thrown me out.'
'I managed to stay at a friend's house that night, and a different one the night after. I didn't want to stay anywhere for too long. I was embarrassed about asking people for help and knew I was getting in their way.'
Everything was going wrong, and I needed help
'I ended up sleeping rough a few nights, which was a nightmare. When I left home I'd barely taken anything with me, so all the clothes I had with me were dirty. Everything was going wrong, and I needed help.'
Help from Shelter
'I went to a mate's house and found Shelter's helpline number on their website. I talked to an adviser, who said that the council had to help me as I was 16. She said I should go back to the council - but when I did, they said the same thing again! So Shelter rang them for me. This time, the council said that I needed a letter from my parents saying that I wasn't allowed home. I decided to ask my dad to write one. It'd be worth it if it got me a place to live.'
A place of my own
'Shelter also gave me some tips on applying for benefits and paying for furniture and essentials. I feel pretty settled now. The flat feels like home and my mum's been round to visit.'
The words used are not that of the actual client. Each person's story, although carefully reflecting genuine client situations as presented to us, has been re-written to sound like their actual voice. Names have also been changed to protect anonymity.
To protect the identity of our clients, models have been used in photographs.