I came to UK from Nigeria in 2014 . I was in a relationship which was abusive, and I was forced to either stay in the abusive situation or move to a hostel for homeless women. I was referred to the mission hostel through an advocate in a charity organisation who referred me. So I went to live there but had a difficult time emotionally and with my physical health while pregnant. My GP referred me to Social Services who then referred me to Just Homes women’s accommodation.
Just Homes has helped me to cope as a single mother, it was also the first time living in a shared house with other single mothers. When I first came, I wanted to run away! But Just Homes support has helped me to be able to function as a single mother and prepare me for the future, to face life and to know how to manage my finances. I have had to learn to cook more for myself and my child, rather than just buying takeaway food. The kitchen here is amazing – the space, and the facilities. Also how Just Homes staff received me, making me feel welcome. I have received emotional support, have learned about how to develop skills, and have helpful information given to me. The House Meetings have been helpful for meeting together with others from different backgrounds to learn about them, discussing repairs, cleaning and any concerns, and advice on moving forward from here, e.g benefits information.
Just Homes is a home away from home!
I came from Nigeria and due to some things which happened in my life I ended up staying in the UK. Due to family circumstances back home I felt could not go back. I was just staying with friends with no fixed address, so was homeless. I had a relationship and became pregnant and could not continue to stay with the friend where I was. Through the help of Hackney Migrant Service, I was referred to Social Services who assessed my situation and referred me to Just Homes women’s accommodation. My baby was 5 months old when we came to Just Homes to live.
Being at Just Homes really helped me with having a place to stay until I could sort out my immigration status. My Support Worker was really helpful. It has been helpful to know what to do and where to go for assistance as a single parent.
Thank you to Just Homes for accommodating me.
I became homeless due to a breakdown in relations with my family, I ended up in a night shelter. This meant I had to move from shelter to shelter every day. I lost my job as I not have the stability to hold down my job and somewhere more permanent to live. I was referred to Just Homes form one of the night shelters. They could not only provide me with stable accommodation but also support to help me move on with my life and look for a new job.
Since moving in I have it became clear that I had mental health problems. The staff at Just Homes supported me to get specialist health that resulted in a proper mental health diagnosis. Just Homes has continued to support me to receive help from a network of organisations. As a result of the support I am receiving from the hostel and my mental worker I am now ready to move on to more suitable and permanent accommodation.
I became homeless after the breakdown of a 10 year relationship. My life simply unravelled and snowballed from bad to worse. The end of my relationship resulted losing my home and after out staying my welcome with family and friends I lost my way. I became depressed, lost my job and ended up sleeping rough in Central London.
This was the worse period of my life. I felt so dejected and would often contemplate suicide. I began to lose my faith and for two years had no contact with anyone other than other rough sleepers. I felt so low that I couldn’t/ wouldn’t engage with support services in any meaningful way. I used the ‘soup runs’ and relied on the kindness of strangers for all of my basic needs.
I started using a Christian based Day Centre and questions that I’d managed to block out for so long started to surface and I made a conscious decision to get my life back on track. I stared volunteering at the Day Centre because I felt so indebted and they made the referral to Just Homes. Moving into a hostel after two years rough sleeping provided me with stability and security that I had not had for such a long while that at times it felt overwhelming.
A short while after moving in I became the Responsible Tenant and was able to start working again. First for a month and then a 6 month contract. My journey continues and I’m finding my way back.
I came from Ghana as a child of 12. My mother, who had remarried had other children. She sent me to an “aunt” in the UK and promised to join me, but she never came. I had to share a room with my cousins. I was beaten and made to do house work. I managed to attend school and had started college. After a brief affair when I was 17 I discovered I was pregnant. My aunt was scandalised and after a fight I fled the house taking refuge with a series of friends.
When started to attend an ante natal clinic a social worker discovered that I had no legal status here. I had never questioned my right to be here and did not even understand what a visa was. I was now homeless, deserted by the father of my child, and without any right to help from the state, I could not even continue with my education. Through the intervention of my hospital social worker I was referred Just Homes. My daughter was born soon after my 18th birthday.
I struggled for a long time with anger and feelings of rejection. I attend ‘We Are Family’, which is a support group for vulnerable women. Recently I have started counselling through Alternatives which has helped me with my mixed emotions and has given me the ability to make better choices and seek reconciliation in broken relationships. I have been with Just Homes for nearly 4 years. My application to UKBA was initially refused but with support from the Just Homes project, I have won my appeal and I have been granted leave to remain. I finally have a flat of my own.
I came from Pakistan for an arranged marriage and came with my husband ( a GP) to UK, who had Irish citizenship. I suffered constant domestic violence, rape and mental abuse and fled in fear when I was 6 months pregnant. I was helped by friends of the family but they could not keep me once the baby arrived. A contact of Just. I was very traumatised and I still live in fear of my husband.
Just Homes found out about my situation through a friend and helped me to move there.
Because I had not been in the country long enough, before I fled my husband, I did not qualify to remain as a spouse. My husband has now returned to Ireland. With the support of Just Homes I made many attempts to obtain Irish citizenship for my son. However my husband was totally uncooperative and as I did not have the correct documents it was difficult to prove my son’s status. Because of this I couldn’t get my own status. My family in Pakistan refuse to have me back or even communicate with me because of the shame they feel I have caused in leaving my husband, they are nor concerned about the circumstances that has led me to leave my husband. I am terrified that if I should return to Pakistan my child and I will be killed.
During my time with Just Homes I have gained confidence as an individual and as a parent. I attend a parenting support group and I also attend classes making cards which I sell. My application for indefinite leave to remain has finally been successful and I have finally moved into a flat of my own.