“Charlie*, 28, came to the UK when he was just eight years old.

“He came from a strict Muslim home and was the eldest child in the family. When his parents split up, he lived with his father. He attended the mosque weekly but he felt ashamed, as his father was not happy with the friends he chose.

“At the age of 19, he began to smoke cannabis. His family then rejected him and threw him out of the family home. Charlie started sofa surfing with friends. He felt shamed and as a consequence stopped going to the mosque.

“In 2019, he approached the Homeless Action in Barnet team. Charlie had to sneak in and out of the Day Centre as his family went to the mosque around the corner.

“One day he was seen coming into HAB by family friends. His father would then phone him and make him feel useless.

“Charlie also had £2,000 of debt. So, HAB assisted him with applying for Universal Credit. He got on the right benefits and I (Support Officer, Anne O'Sullivan) assisted him in writing to charities to see if they could help pay his debts.

“I also noticed that he had a problem with his fingers and nails so I encouraged him to go to his GP. The GP diagnosed him with a heart condition.

“He now does an electricians course at college. He also applied for PIP, which got backdated, and the enhanced payment helped to pay off all his debts. He pays his bills on time and has managed to save £200, as he would like to apply for a British passport.

“I helped reconnect him with his family and he visits them twice weekly.

“He now showers daily and wears nice clothes and has not smoked cannabis in the last 12 months.

“I am preparing him to move onto independent accommodation.”

*His name has been changed to protect his privacy

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