Welcome Project

Two months ago, Elle* came to the Welcome Project. After the death of a close relative, she fell into a state of depression and lost her job in the catering industry, where she had trained as a professional chef. Eventually, after months of living from her savings (since she didn’t believe in receiving any state assistance), Elle found herself homeless.

We interviewed Elle and conducted an assessment to find out exactly how we could support her. During this process Elle shared many details about her life and aspirations, which showed how resourceful she is.

Now, the day we met her, in November, was a week prior to the opening of the homeless winter shelters which meant that even if we could secure a place for Elle, it would mean that she would be waiting for another week. In this instance, since Elle had very low support needs, we booked her into a private hostel for one week, up until the date that the winter shelters opened. This also gave us a window of time to submit her application, respond to queries and obtain any additional information the shelters required.

Elle’s application was successful and after one week she returned to the Welcome Project and picked up some documents with the location details of where she would be staying.

After being accommodated for 28 nights Elle found herself back on the streets and came back to the Welcome Project for a meeting. At that point, we made a referral to a night shelter on Elle’s behalf. She was accepted.

When we saw Elle recently, she was full of joy. She had come to collect her luggage which was being held in storage and she informed us that she had secured a job. She said she finally feels a sense of “peace” and that her whole experience has been like a “fairytale” in the sense that she never knew about or expected the level of support she received and how so many things which were outside of her control had seemed to fall into place.

*Names have been changed

Written by James Chagula, Community Outreach Specialist at The Homeless Welcome Project
Published 8th May 2018 with tags: homelessness London

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