Homelessness Life Story: Zak Sharif

7 October 2016
Zak Sharif, 19, first moved to Sanctuary Supported Living’s Anglesea Road five months ago, after being asked to leave his parents’ home as a result of his anger control issues.

Zak making notes on a paper pad

After a long period of time spent sofa surfing, Zak was referred to the Anglesea Road service, which provides supported housing for homeless people, by his college worker, who had become concerned for his wellbeing.

Being homeless had taken its toll on Zak, who was not only estranged from his family but also not eating properly and experiencing problems with his performance at college. This changed once he arrived at Anglesea Road.

He said: “When I moved into Anglesea Road, I had no benefits in place, no food.and wasn’t sure that I would be able to complete my A-Levels

“Staff assisted me to complete a benefit claim and applied for a grant to help me pay my rent and buy food before my benefits were confirmed.”

After sticking with his A-Levels with new-found stability, Zak went on to achieve straight Cs, which secured him a course in social sciences at the University of Bedfordshire.

Zak added: “I wanted to be able to go to university but was worried I wouldn’t get the grades due to being homeless and unable to get to college.

Anglesea Road helped me to stay stable at a really difficult time in my life and enabled me to be able to achieve the results I needed.

Zak Sharif, Resident

“I’ve chosen social sciences as a degree because I’ve always found psychology interesting – my dream would be to work as a social worker.”

Zak, who is hoping to reconcile with his brother in the future, has also been helped by the staff to manage his anger and approach situations with more clarity.

He said: “I have grown in confidence while living at Anglesea Road and have learnt to communicate with all different types of people.

“I realised I need to act upon certain situations rather than sweeping it under the carpet. I now know there are good people out there who can and will listen to you, who will help you find a resolution and empower you to make the right decisions in life.

“I’m still anxious about going to university and the fear of the unknown, but staff at Anglesea Road reassured me I can always contact them and possibly return to the scheme if anything goes wrong, which has given me the back-up I needed to pursue my dream.”

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Sanctuary Supported Living is a trading name of Sanctuary Housing Association and Sanctuary Home Care Limited, both exempt charities. Images used on our website and literature may be representative and are for illustration purposes only.

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