Jacqui's story: "I feel like I belong again"
We helped her recover from life on the streets
Jacqui was homeless for a year-and-a-half. Before Porchlight stepped in to help, she’d given up hope of ever leaving the streets behind.
“At night I walked up and down, with blisters on my feet. I didn’t sleep, I was too scared. I thought the minute I stood still would be the minute I wouldn’t wake up.”
Jacqui became homeless after losing her job. She was forced to sleep rough because Universal Credit payments weren’t enough to keep a roof over her head. With nowhere to go and nobody to turn to, she felt powerless.
“I got a part-time cleaning job in the day but it wasn’t enough to help me off the streets. I would ask the council for help but get told nothing could be done and came away in tears.”
When we found Jacqui, she’d been sleeping rough for 18 months. We helped her find somewhere to live and gave emotional support that allowed her to begin trusting people again.
I was saved - I don’t know what would have happened to me if Porchlight hadn’t helped
Jacqui was encouraged to take part in activities and meet-ups that we run. People who’ve experienced homelessness often feel isolated from society – being around others and feeling like part of something helps them to feel more confident and overcome the trauma they’ve experienced.
this time, Jacqui met Porchlight worker Abi - someone she felt comfortable opening up to.
“Abi’s so positive, she gets me. We do mindfulness, breathing, walking and jogging. I feel like I belong again. When you’re homeless you don’t feel like that. Now, I’m part of a community.”
Change didn’t happen overnight – there are no quick fixes when it comes to helping people who’ve been homeless – but slowly her self-esteem began to grow.
We’re pleased to report that Jacqui is now thriving. She has reconnected with the person she used to be and is living in a place of her own.
“Porchlight has changed my life. I feel like I belong in the community again, my confidence is back and I can walk around with my head held high.”
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing homelessness or at risk of losing their home you can find information on our current range of support here. Or if you are concerned about someone who is rough sleeping, you can tell us here.