A young Sheffield woman who faced homelessness has spoken out to thank the local charity that helped her back on her feet.
Shauna Stubbs was only nine years old when her mum died.
Under the strain of grief caused by losing someone so important at such a young age, Shauna's relationship with her dad deteriorated.
By the time Shauna was 16 the arguments had become so bad that she decided to move out.
“We got to the point where we didn’t speak anymore. It felt like I had no option but to leave,” Shauna said.
Shauna stayed with a friend- wondering what to do with no money and no support.
She said: “At that point, I didn’t see myself as homeless. But actually I was because I didn’t have a roof over my head. I was in denial.”
Commenting on how it feels to have nowhere to call home, Shauna said: “It’s horrible. You never think that you are going to go through it. I wanted to start afresh with my dad but I knew that it just wasn’t going to work.”
A friend put Shauna in contact with Roundabout - a Sheffield-based charity for young people vulnerable to homelessness.
Shauna was given a place in the charity’s emergency hostel where she was given support and advice as well as a bed to sleep in.
To begin with, Shauna felt ‘embarrassed’ at seeking charity.
She said: “I hated having a youth worker. I hated Roundabout.”
But over the next year, Shauna developed skills to allow her to live independently - such as learning how to pay bills, cook and manage a budget.
She was even given mediation sessions to help her understand her dad - learning how to avoid arguments and rebuild a stable relationship.
Now aged 19, Shauna lives in council tenancy entirely independently.
With the help of mediation and a place of her own to call home, Shauna’s relationship with her dad has improved dramatically. They see each other regularly.
Speaking about Roundabout, she said: “I love it. Without them, I wouldn’t have anything.”
Shauna spends a lot of time volunteering with Roundabout as a Peer Educator - going into schools and speaking to other young people about how homelessness ‘can happen to anyone’.
Shauna is also at college studying to become a youth worker, and hopes to use her experience to help others.
She said: “Everyone goes through a stage in life where they need help. I want to be able to help people see that there’s a way forward when that time comes.”
Roundabout’s Prevention Centre for young people worried about their home situation is on 22 Union Street in the city centre and is open 10am-4.30pm Monday to Friday.
MORE FROM THE STAR