Give the gift of driving home for Christmas this year

Christmas is a time for families, fun and celebration. We all look forward to driving home for Christmas.

But for some people, Christmas is extremely hard and they won't have a home to drive to.

Christmas model house | Homeless Oxfordshire

Emma found herself homeless, sleeping in her car having left home due to domestic abuse and ill mental health, and she even had to leave her children behind.

We helped and supported Emma to recover and regain her life - read her amazing story of resilience below.

By supporting the lifesaving work of Homeless Oxfordshire you can help provide a safe, warm and caring place for people like Emma to live while they get back on track.

Because let's face it, everyone should be able to drive home for Christmas.

Donate today and help someone like Emma find a new direction and reach a new destination.

Christmas is a time for families, fun and celebration. We all look forward to driving home for Christmas.

But for some people, Christmas is extremely hard and they won't have a home to drive to.

Emma found herself homeless, sleeping in her car having left home due to domestic abuse and ill mental health, and she even had to leave her children behind.

We helped and supported Emma to recover and regain her life - read her amazing story of resilience below.

By supporting the lifesaving work of Homeless Oxfordshire you can help provide a safe, warm and caring place for people like Emma to live while they get back on track.

Because let's face it, everyone should be able to drive home for Christmas.

Donate today and help someone like Emma find a new direction and reach a new destination.

Emma's story

Emma is an intelligent articulate woman who found herself in situations not of her making but had to make a decision early on that would mean to survive or not to survive.

Emma first found herself homeless when she was only 14 years old. After family breakdown due to domestic abuse, Emma and her brothers and sisters were living with their mother in a hostel; one room in a shared house.

At such an early age Emma decided that it was her job to protect her brothers and sisters and to provide a safe, stable future for them all. So, she tried hard at school and was the first person in her family to go to University to train to be a teacher.

As she moved into her early 20's she began to display traits of manic depression, an illness that was for a long time undiagnosed and then misdiagnosed as Post natal depression. Emma continued to work and raise a family for twenty years and despite being treated for Borderline Personality Disorder Emma became drug and alcohol dependent.

Christmas Campaign (148 x 100 mm) (120 x 100 mm) (100 x 100 mm)

Despite holding down a job and supporting her family Emma became increasingly exposed to domestic abuse from her partner.

On the outside Emma was a typical middle class professional who seemed to have it all. But behind closed doors she became more and more emotionally unstable, and had what is known in laymen's terms as a severe mental break down. Emma's addiction problems led to reoccurring bouts of psychosis, she was completely engulfed in hopelessness; feeling lost and worthless.

She suffered from two illnesses and was blamed by her partner for causing the problems and provoking the abuse. The vicious cycle of addiction was exacerbated by the hostile controlling environment she lived in.

"It was like being on a constant treadmill not being able to get off, but I realised I had to make a choice: either leave and recover or stay and sink further. It was not easy to believe it is possible to live a life without chemical peace of mind, especially as it was the solution I had been using to cope with the emotional pain. I had no idea if it was possible to override the overwhelming desire to 'use', I had been self-medicating for such a long long time in one form or another. I didn't really know that I was an addict until I tried to stop drinking on my own"

Christmas Campaign (148 x 100 mm) (148 x 99 mm)

Emma's story (cont.)

She was referred to, 'Lifeline' Oxford's only Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service that operates a Community Rehab and a 12 Step sobriety course. Emma felt that at last she had found a way to get out of the cycle of addiction and to try to get her life back on track.

Emma realised that she had to find help and a way out for her sake and the sake of her children. So with amazing resilience and strength she just left her home, sofa-surfing at a friend's house. Her partner followed her though and intimidated her friend so she had to leave.

She started sleeping in her car. 

She contacted local homeless services and once again started a period of sobriety, friends agreed to put her up for 3 months during this time.

Emma was then referred to Homeless Oxfordshire via the Community Housing assisted living service and was given a place in sober living accommodation in May 2015 - at this time Emma was 9 months sober.

" - it gave me consistency. Dependence is the hardest thing to talk about and it's even harder asking for help. As an intelligent, educated and articulate woman, I felt that I should have been able to deal with my situation. I was so grateful to have the 1 to 1 support of my key worker who helped build trust in my relationships with people.

She also encouraged me to seek support in the Oxford Mutual aide fellowships (A.A. and NA) because I was so terrified of relapse. I continue to attend weekly meetings at Drug Addicts Anonymous and found a sponsor who helps support me in my recovery- I haven't needed to use since."

Homelessness is something that society views as self-inflicted, which is simply not the case. Homelessness is an uncomfortable subject mainly because it reminds all of us that our lives are finely balanced, and it would only take certain circumstances or situations for us to find ourselves in the same situation as Emma.
Today Emma is safe and well and is building relationships with her children once more.

What your money can go towards this Christmas

£25

Provides 3 nutritional meals a day for 1 week, including Christmas dinner

Gives somebody accommodation for 1 week

Food for someone's dog for 1 month

 

 

£55

Provides a warm, safe place to stay for 1 month

Vaccinations, a health check or microchipping for a dog

A welcome pack of food and essentials when someone moves into their own accommodation

 

£100

1 session with a Clinical Psychologist to help someone recover from life trauma

Gives someone the chance to discover and renew skills to manage their own home and build practical life skills

Provides specialist support for women, delivered by women

 

About us

Our History

For Homeless Oxfordshire, our beginning was humble. In a shabby old school building, named Oxford Night Shelter, we provided overnight emergency accommodation to anyone that needed a warm bed and a roof over their head.

It was far from ideal. But we used what we had and gave it our all. With 12 people in each room, we were pushed but strived to provide the best service we could. We transformed classrooms into dormitories and provided everyone with food, washing facilities and as much support as possible.

Fast-forward 34 years and here we are the largest homeless accommodation provider across the county. Not only do we provide accommodation at our 56 bed hostel but we have 144 beds across the local community in 24 properties offering a full range of support.

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Emma

Our Mission

To provide short term accommodation with access to high quality support and initiatives that enable people to have a safe space, in which they can begin to take control of their own lives and recover from homelessness.

Our Aim

Through the provision of a wide range of different types of accommodation, people will learn how to manage a tenancy, have improved self-esteem, a more positive self-identity and gain the skills that will enable them to move on, live and succeed with greater independence.