I was homeless for 2 years, I was very miserable. I was suffering from mental health issues and drug problems, and I lost my family. A lot of nights I was spending at the bus station and I used to wander off with anybody, mostly men. A lot of the time I found myself in vulnerable situations. The outreach team told me about the women’s night shelter here. I stayed there every night I could. Back then the shelter was only open two nights a week, and then three…….and now five nights. They gave me somewhere safe to sleep. I felt safe at the ladies night shelter. It was a bit strict at times. We had to be in bed by 11pm, but then we had to be up by 6am. It was good to have a nice place to go to, with nice staff who genuinely cared about you. Val (the night shelter manager) used to ring my service coordinator to let her know that I was at the night shelter, and she was then able to come and work with me. She was a big part of getting my life back on track. I only have good things to say about this place.
And then Val found me a place in a hostel, and things have improved from there. I now have my own flat. I was also trying to find my children and I wasn’t having any luck. I asked Valerie to pray that I would see my children again. It didn’t happen straight away, but I’ve recently got into contact with them again. There is light at the end of the tunnel. At the time you think there isn’t but there is. If someone had said to me back then that in a couple of years I would have my own flat and I would see my children again, I wouldn’t have believed them. My hope for the future is to build better relationships with my children.
I want to tell people that if they are feeling a little bit sad or down, and they think nothing can possibly work out in their lives, that’s exactly how I felt. I was addicted to heroin and crack cocaine. I had a big habit. But there is hope. I still have a long way to go, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.