Angela's story: “without Porchlight’s hostels, I wouldn’t be alive today”

For people like Angela, our hostels are more than just buildings. They’re a safe haven from nights spent frightened and alone on the streets.

Her story shows why we must fight to keep them open. But because of funding cuts, the threat of closure looms.

Angela became homeless after fleeing a violent relationship. She spent six months living in a tent, freezing and scared that she’d be found by her ex-partner.

“On my first night outside, the sound of a car startled me so much I ran from my tent. Over time I got more used to it, but the trust in people didn’t return. I was always on edge.”

When Angela was given a room in a Porchlight hostel, she was relieved to finally be off the streets but still felt highly anxious. We worked hard to earn her trust – but it took time.

“I have issues around closed doors because of my old relationship. Early on, I felt unable to sleep in a bedroom so took my mattress to the common room and slept with the doors open. The staff never even commented on it because they understood what I was going through. They were really lovely.”

Slowly, Angela began to feel safe in her new home. She started opening up to our hostel staff.

“At first, it felt weird knowing that the staff were being nice to me - not because they had to, but because they wanted to. If I was struggling, I could talk to them at any time of the day or night and they would listen. It helped me adjust to my new life.”

I have issues around closed doors because of my old relationship

She began joining group activities we run for our residents. The activities gave Angela a sense of routine and belonging that she hadn’t felt for a long time.

“There were tea and toast mornings, cooking activities, games nights, movie nights and house meetings. The structure they provided to my life became a comfort.”

Group activities also help our residents to bond. Angela struck up a friendship with another resident living in the room above hers. When the time came to leave Porchlight, they moved into a shared flat of their own.

“It’s going well and we’re taking things day-to-day. We support one another and understand what each of us have been through. I’ve been able to reconnect with my daughter and grandson.”

Angela says that if she hadn’t moved into a Porchlight hostel, she may not be alive today.