Jacqui, 41, was staying with her father when she got in trouble with the law, had to move out and found herself with nowhere to go. After a short stay in a night shelter, she was supported in one of Redbridge hostels before we worked with her to find a place to call home.

“I’ve made mistakes in my life and paid the price by spending time in prison. This definitely put me at higher risk of being homeless. I was in a bad place when it finally happened. I had lost one of my children in a car accident and didn’t know how to cope. My other children couldn’t live with me. I needed help.” 

I came to an SHP shelter and then moved into a hostel. In the months I was there, I began to start addressing my issues and work on myself. There are so many different sessions and courses available that have helped me begin to heal. 

Accessing bereavement counselling and therapy has been so important for me to help me process what’s happened in my life and how I can be on a better path. I’ve also been going to gardening sessions. I love the outdoors and I always feel so peaceful when I’m at the allotment. I’ve even started writing poetry about it! My mental health has always been up and down but since I’ve been here, it’s been really stable. 

Looking back on how I was when I first came to SHP, I’m like a different person! I’ve been through some really tough times but I’ve never given up on myself. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come.

Jacqui has incorporated supporting others into her own recovery process. She hopes to carry this on in the future as she gains her independence back. 

“I was helping other residents in the hostel when I can. One friend can’t walk very far so I help him do his washing when he needs it. I’m hoping that when I’m back on my feet I’ll be able to help others. I love horses and I used to teach horse riding to disabled children. I want to be able to do that again someday.  

I've moved into my own place now. It's great having my own space so family can visit. I have more responsibility which is scary but I know SHP will still be supporting me and I’m really grateful for that. 

"Looking back on how I was when I first came to SHP, I’m like a different person! I’ve been through some really tough times but I’ve never given up on myself. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come.”