Becky's story: "Porchlight have taught me that not everyone’s bad”

It has taken a long time, but she is finally trusting people again.

Like many women who’ve been homeless, Becky has experienced violence and sexual assault.

“My trust in people has been shattered over the years but Porchlight have taught me that not everyone’s bad.”

She spent large periods of her adult life homeless. Now aged 28, she wants to use her story to educate others.

“Being homeless is not a choice. There needs to be more understanding of people’s stories.”

Vulnerable and homeless

Becky’s homelessness was related to issues stemming from a traumatic childhood. Like many vulnerable women in this situation, she was exploited and abused.

“Occasionally I would be kicked awake by drunks or spat on and told to get a job. I’d have to move around three or four times a night to find somewhere safe enough to get a few hours of sleep. Even in soup kitchens and night shelters I didn’t feel safe around men,” she explains. “I didn’t feel like I could stay in a night shelter.”

A cycle of homelessness

Becky often chose to remain on the streets where she felt safer. This exacerbated a cycle of homelessness that was difficult to escape from.

Just as the causes of women’s homelessness are not straightforward, neither is the journey out of homelessness. Issues escalate the longer women are on the streets, destroying self-esteem and making it feel harder to accept help.

The turning point

The turning point came when she met Porchlight outreach worker Ismaila who helped her find the right support in one of our hostels.

“Porchlight doesn’t just house people – it moves them forward. It knows that everyone’s circumstances are unique and takes the time to understand the type of help that you need so no-one falls through the net.”

We’re pleased to say that Becky is now looking at a positive future. She’s determined to make something positive out of her experiences and is volunteering with one of our partner charities.

Eventually, she’d like to join Porchlight and help people who are in the same position that she was.

“I’m so grateful to Porchlight. I’d probably be back out there if it wasn’t for them.”