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Audrey's story: "If you give to Porchlight, you could be saving somebody’s life"

We gave her a safe place to call home

Audrey* became homeless after fleeing a violent relationship.

For six months, she lived in a tent on one of Kent’s beaches. It was freezing cold and terrifying.

“On my first night outside, the sound of a car startled me so much I ran from my tent. I thought my abusive ex-partner had found me."

Although Audrey got more used to the situation, her trust in people didn't return.

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Being homeless means you’re always on edge and the loneliness eats away at you until you start to lose faith in society. It does a lot of damage, and it’s so much harder to bear at Christmas.

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Thankfully, things started to change when Audrey got in touch with Porchlight.

“The helpline adviser couldn’t have been kinder. He listened to everything I said, and all the promises of help he made were kept. When I moved into one of Porchlight’s supported houses, it felt so strange knowing that the staff were being nice to me – not because they had to, but because they wanted to.”

We helped Audrey adjust to her new life and she slowly began to trust again. We made sure that Christmas, the first she’d celebrated in a long time, was memorable.

“The staff wrapped up presents and handed them out to everybody. They went out of their way to cook a Christmas meal for us all. On Boxing Day, myself and a few other residents returned the favour and cooked dinner. We went out that evening and gave the leftovers to people still on the streets.”

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The support and group activities we offer - tea and toast mornings, cookery classes, wellbeing sessions, employment advice, house meetings and more - provided structure and helped Audrey rebuild her confidence. She also made a new friend and they became housemates when they were ready to leave Porchlight.

“We support one another and understand what each of us has been through. I spend more time with my daughter and grandson now, which is so lovely as Christmas is just around the corner."

Audrey says that if it wasn’t for Porchlight, she doesn’t think she would be around today.

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If you give to Porchlight, you could be saving somebody’s life. People on the streets didn’t ask to be homeless. We’d love a new start but need help to make it happen.

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