Marie is one of many people we have helped who never thought they would be homeless.
She grew up in a close-knit family, and only moved out when she and her partner decided to live together. She thought she had found love, security, and independence, but then their relationship broke down. Suffering from increasing health problems, suddenly her choices were very limited:
“As my family had no room for me, I was homeless. I stayed with friends for a few weeks, but while there I suffered abuse, and I had to leave for my own safety. I went to the local council and was told me they couldn’t help me as I was not a priority and had made myself intentionally homeless.
“I had been unemployed for a year after losing my last job due to a back injury, and also suffer from manic depression. I really couldn’t see a future for myself, and felt alone and isolated. I was in despair, and had nowhere to go.”
She was able to move into a scheme supported by Church Housing Trust. In a safe environment, she flourished and her situation didn’t seem so hopeless. She became a tenant representative, and then took a diploma in administration. With her confidence restored, it was time to take the next step.
“I was told by my support worker about the GROW (Getting Real Opportunities for Work) trainee Project Assistant position. I have always wanted to help people who have been through similar situations to mine in their own lives. But I worried about how I would cope starting work again after so long out of it.
“I wouldn’t let my mental health affect me this time: I had come so far in the last two years, and there was no quitting now. I had learned that I could be happy and that life was not always doom and gloom. I started my position as a GROW Trainee Project Assistant. I found that I was able to talk to hostel residents confidently and that my experience helped me with this.
“I’ve learnt a lot about how different people are affected by homelessness, and the struggles they have to go through. I feel more determined than ever to help make a difference to people who had been through difficult times.I am able to use my experience of homelessness to help others and listen to their stories
“When you mention that you are homeless to the general public they make an automatic assumption about you as a person.
“I know that we all have a story to tell, and with the right help and guidance we can learn that life is better than all the pain and all the negatives. I have learnt about the diversity of homelessness.
“I finally found something I wanted to do; a goal I wanted to reach. I will be sad to leave here but I will leave here with great happiness and an open mind to the world beyond my own. I am now even more determined to help others and finally know which direction I want my life to go. Onwards and upwards.”
We fund opportunities such as training, and GROW roles that let Marie and others like her, rediscover their purpose in life. Your donations can help more people get to where they want to be.