Placed in a hostel when conflict at home left her without anywhere permanent to live, Antonia Weaver is raising awareness of different types of homelessness.
Her story was shown on ITV News Central on Thursday 6th November.
Antonia, who’s 22 and from Telford in the West Midlands, wants to show that homelessness can affect people in different ways, and doesn’t always mean sleeping on the streets.
She hopes that by improving understanding, people will be quicker to offer support to those who need it.
‘I ended up homeless at 16 due to family conflict,’ Antonia explains.
‘I was really lucky because a local charity found me somewhere to live in a hostel for young women.
‘A lot of young people don’t have that opportunity.
‘My Fixers project is to help people understand homelessness.
‘No one chooses to be homeless. Often the young person has no control over their circumstances.’
With Fixers, Antonia is helping to create a film based on young people’s experiences of homelessness in Telford and the West Midlands.
Conducting research as part of her broadcast, she speaks to others her age who know what it’s like to have nowhere to live.
John Green, Director of Stay Telford, an organisation that provides housing and support for young people and families, also appears in the TV film in support of Antonia’s campaign.
‘The project Antonia is working on with Fixers is an excellent thing in order to dispel some misconceptions,’ he says.
‘Young people who find themselves homeless can be blamed by society for their situation but often it’s not their fault.
‘It can be as a result of a difficult upbringing, a difficult family background, abuse, or a number of other factors.’
Antonia adds: ‘A lot of people do take it for granted that they have a home to go back to.
‘Through this project I hope to see more people offering their support and being more generous towards homeless people.’
For more information and advice on homelessness or housing issues, visit the Get Connected website.
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