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22 November 2019

Support out of homelessness and into a new lease of life

Support out of homelessness and into a new lease of life
Gina became homeless after leaving an abusive relationship. After a very difficult time, her life turned around when she found a home through Rhondda Housing Association, and started receiving support from their team.

She shares her story below:

“I never thought that I would ever become homeless, but after suffering mental and physical domestic abuse for seven years, that was the situation I found myself in. The hardest thing for me was admitting that I needed help and support.

“When I first found myself homeless, I would make frequent visits to my local housing office, but bids for homes would come to nothing, and I soon found myself sinking into depression. I had no fight left in me and didn’t see any point in living.

“The turning point came when I made a successful bid on a two-bedroom house through Rhondda Housing Association pending a meeting with them. I was so nervous and anxious when I met with Beverly and her colleague, but they put me at ease and at the end of the visit approved my application.

“After so long feeling depressed, it was like being given a lifeline. Moving to my new home was overwhelming, but Beverly was very understanding and made it clear that she was available at any time, along with the support of the rest of the amazing team at Rhondda Housing Association.

“Due to the move, and subsequent change in my circumstances, I was also moved on to Universal Credit, which meant I was left with no money while I waited for my first payment. It was a really stressful time, but once again, Beverly was there offering me support and advice, and she would come with food parcels from Rhondda’s Grub Hub scheme.

“No words can describe how my life has changed since I moved to Rhondda Housing Association. They believed in me and supported me during the most traumatic time in my life and were very understanding about my rent arrears.

“I now volunteer for Women’s Aid, and help other women who have suffered from domestic abuse, in the same way Beverly and her colleagues helped me. I hope that by sharing my story, and how I turned my life around, I can inspire others.”

We are asking the UK Government to reduce the Universal Credit five week wait to just a few days, so people like Gina aren’t left without money. To read more about this, click here.

We've spent many years campaigning to influence policies so people like Gina can lead happier lives. See our 30 year timeline here:

View the full timeline here (PDF).