Once you have been homeless, you can face endless practical barriers to living independently, even when you feel absolutely ready to do so. Church Housing Trust is proud to fund extras that make the transition easier.
One young woman we helped is Ella*, who was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at a young age. She tried a number of different medications and therapies, but her mental health problems continually disrupted her social development, education, and employment.
At the age of 16, she agreed leave the family home due to her difficult relationship with her younger brother. She has lived in supported housing ever since, moving between youth hostels, and returning to her family home for a short time only once.
Now 24, she has been offered a council property, which gives her the opportunity to live independently for the first time. Having lived in supported housing for the last eight years, she doesn’t have many possessions, and worried about how to make her flat into a home on a minimal budget. Council flats are unfurnished, so she would have had to buy all of her furniture out of her own pocket. In particular, she was keen to get a decent cooker, to make meals for herself and friends in her spare time. To help her get essential items, we were able to provide a resettlement grant.
We were so pleased to help Ella move forward into a new phase of her life. She has lived at Cambridge Youth Foyer for the past three years, a scheme that has given her the support she needs to focus on her education, training, and mental health.
As a result of her mental health problems, she was often in and out of education and struggled to complete qualifications. After years of different jobs and courses, she has worked to overcome her anxiety, recently starting her second year of an Open University degree in Maths and Physics. Ella finds this way of learning a lot easier, as she can attend monthly lectures and complete work at her own pace.
Receiving funding from us has relieved her anxiety about moving into a bare flat; now she can concentrate on her degree and ensure she meets all of her assignment deadlines in the run up to her moving day. She is once again in contact with her mother, and looks forward to inviting her over for a meal someday soon.