Rachel is a client in our Women’s project. In her own words she describes how she came to be homeless and her hopes for the future.
“I was with someone who was stupidly doing heroin and I tried it. This led me down the path of losing my house, family. I was sofa surfing, so just going anywhere that anyone would put me up really. And you lose all bits. That's the worst part is you lose everything because you can't carry everything with you.”
“People think you want to be on the streets or you're begging for money and you're going home to, I don't know, a Ferrari and a five-bedroom house, but you're not. You don't want to be asking, sometimes you just put your head down thinking “If I don't see you, then you're not going to see me."
“None of us pick up drugs or drink thinking, "I'm going to get addicted to this." I didn't ever think I was going to get addicted. And I didn't want to be on the streets. It's embarrassing when people look at you, you don't want to be there.”
“Sometimes you can forget how to live in society, if that makes sense, when you live so long doing things a different way”
“Hopefully I will get back to work. If you're sat around all day then you will fall back into the wrong side of life. But if I keep with my courses, keep busy and then hopefully the next step will be getting back on my own. I don't want to go back to that life of sofa surfing, losing all my stuff, I've got stuff back again now, clothes back again, I've got a room and a fridge. It's just things like that, you forget not being able to go to the fridge and get your stuff out, because normally somebody would have eaten your food and it's just having a fridge that you can go and get something out of it that you want. It's just things like that that you take for granted.”
“Without Homeless Oxfordshire I think I'd still be using. I wouldn't be as far forward as I am, like attending my courses, trying to make myself better, pay my TV license and stuff like that. Yeah. I wouldn't feel stronger enough to say, "No," And I do feel now that I can.”
*Names of individuals have been changed to protect their privacy