She became homeless through no fault of her own because she had nowhere safe to stay. She said “I think it was because I did well at school, so no one picked up that anything was wrong, I wasn’t on social services radar and I just slipped through all the various support nets.”
“I never slept on the streets but there was the odd night where I just walked round all night or camped out at McDonalds.”
“Mainly though I was just sleeping on friends’ sofas.”
“And that was my life for about 6 years until one day I was staying at a friend’s and her mom just came out and said ‘Have you never heard of St Basils?’. She took me down to the youth hub the same day and I ended up seeing Jim Garvey and his team.”
“I remember waiting in the youth hub to be seen and I was really distraught and very scared and Jim was just so nice! He reassured me that he’d do all he could to find me somewhere I’d feel comfortable!
“I really didn’t want to go back to my old neighbourhood and being 23 at the time he ended up referring me to one of St Basils partners, Midland Heart, and one of their hostels, as I think he knew I’d settle in better there. I stayed in that hostel for about 11 months before I moved on to my own place.”
“I did a bit of freelance work while I was studying for a degree and my masters but this job with St Basils is my first proper 9-5 job. I didn’t mind what job I did really, I just wanted to work for St Basils! I’ve applied for a lot of positions here lol!”
“I’m really enjoying working here, it’s a nice environment and just lovely to work alongside people that have helped me and to give something back.”
“The first thing I did on my first day was to visit Jim to thank him for all his help.”
“I’m now doing as much training as I can and I’m hoping to volunteer with the outreach team soon because I want to move into a more frontline role assisting other young people like me.”
”I’m just really grateful to St Basils for the support as once I got this help, things turned around fairly quickly for me and I’ve now got my own home, this job, lots of opportunities coming up and it feels like I’m in a much better place”.