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Tamara's story: "When you’re sleeping rough it’s very lonely. Now I feel I belong."

Help for Tamara went further than a roof over her head

Tamara was made homeless after losing her job. With nowhere to turn, she was forced to sleep rough.

As well as finding Tamara a place to stay to get back on her feet, our team has given her the emotional support to overcome the trauma of homelessness.

Tamara had been working in a kitchen, but earlier this year her contract wasn’t renewed and she had no way to support herself.

Universal Credit didn’t cover the basic cost of living - such as being able to eat and pay the bills - and she fell behind on rent.

Tamara was evicted. With nowhere to turn, she was forced to sleep rough.

“Sleeping rough was terrifying. I was cold, frightened and ashamed. I would walk all night because it felt safer than sleeping.

“I tried really hard to escape the situation. I didn’t drink or take drugs, but most people looked straight through me. It felt like my situation would go on forever. It was soul destroying.”

Seeing the person behind the homelessness

Tamara was given new hope when she met Porchlight worker Vicky.

“I had pretty much given up hope, but Vicky listened to me and within a day I’d been put into temporary accommodation. I don’t know what would have happened to me if Vicky and Porchlight hadn’t helped.”

We soon found Tamara somewhere more permanent to live in a Porchlight house she shares with one other person: “It’s cosy, warm and homely, and I’ve made my room the way I want it.” 

Support to build on potential

Like everyone we work with, our support for Tamara extends far beyond simply providing a roof. 

“Staff understand what I’m dealing with and it’s the first time people have showed an interest in the person behind the homelessness. They talk to me about my career, education and things beyond my situation.

“It made me realise there are people who see a human being there with ability and potential.”

We’ve given Tamara the support to overcome the emotional trauma of homelessness. She’s also benefitted from our community hubs - places that people can socialise, learn new skills and rebuild their confidence.

When the time was right, our employment team helped Tamara improve her CV and prepare for the job market. She found a new job and hopes to soon be able to afford a place of her own to live.

“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.”

To find out more about the services we offer, visit our Get Help pages. Our new Coronavirus information and resources can be found here.