Flavio was a dazzling young footballer who had risen up the youth ranks of Crystal Palace and then West Ham. But in his late teens he was stabbed and almost died. After being released from hospital he became homeless and at the age of 20 he sofa surfed for seven months, sleeping on the couches of friends.
It wasn’t until Flavio was referred for a space at an Evolve hostel that he got the support he needed to get his life back on track. He was given advice on writing job applications, help with his CV and one-to-ones with a mentor. This gave him the space he needed to regain his confidence. After just three months in Evolve housing he moved on to a shared place in South Norwood.
Flavio is now part of a Croydon Council initiative helping young people escape knife crime through football. He leads sessions of up to 80 children and acts as a local role model. He’s also become a father.
“Being homeless was the worst experience ever. Evolve put a plan in place for my life and motivated me to move forward with the things that I loved and wanted to pursue. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”