Sam was forced to leave home when he was a teenager. He slept on the streets of London for eight months before getting a place in a hostel, where he came into contact with St Mungo’s. Now, Sam is living in his own flat and working as an apprentice.
2 July 2007 is a day I’ll never forget. It was the day my Dad told me not to come home again. My life sort of spiralled out of control after that.
I was born in London but adopted by a couple in Manchester. They brought me up and they were Mum and Dad to me. They adopted three other children too, my brothers and sisters.
The Christmas before my Dad told me to leave, my Mum had cried and said that all she wanted was a baby, in front of me and her other adopted children. She couldn’t have children naturally. I don’t think the four of us were ever really enough for her.
Being kicked out had a big impact on my mental health. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was unwanted. I used to tell people that my parents had died rather than tell the truth.
One afternoon, I got on a bus to London with no real plans. When I arrived I found someone who was homeless and asked them where I could shower and charge my phone. They told me about a daycentre but it was already evening, so I just slept around the back under some scaffolding.
That first night on the streets was awful, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. All I had was a blanket and it was really cold. I was awake most of the night – afraid of being stabbed or something.