Warp Framework

Julie was born in Mile End Hospital in Tower Hamlets in 1963 and had lived in the area her whole life. Therefore, when her landlord decided to sell up, her life changed dramatically. Julie reflects on her experience: “I did wonder if that was how I would be. I was at my brothers’ but I was getting no help. I was on a low, ‘cos I didn’t even have my own privacy. My living quarters were in the living room, I felt like a school kid again ‘cos when they were out I never even got a set of keys. I had been there for 3 months.”

Julie was referred to the night shelter by her support worker at Look Ahead. She remembers her first night well: “I was anxious at first which is obvious. No, it was a good experience and we stuck together, we was like a unit, even when I was the only girl I still felt safe. The food was brilliant apart from when we kept having curries ‘cos I don’t really do spicy foods.”

GrowTH referred her to the housing team of another local charity Crisis, however a number of opportunities fell through and it looked like nothing would materialise in time. Julie explains: “towards the end I began to think ‘Was I ever gonna to get anywhere?’ After having a few pulled under the carpet from me. You feel deflated. Many times I felt like throwing in the towel, but I think that’s because of my bad health.”

With only a few nights left before the shelter closed for the summer Julie had a breakthrough. “I viewed a place, a bedsit and I got accepted on that day. When I got the key I felt relief … I moved in on the final day of the night shelter.”

As well as finding community in the shelter Julie also found it when visiting one of the local churches on a Sunday. Julie explains “I have been coming for 5 weeks, I like the atmosphere. I have never been brought up with religion, but it’s not really like a church it’s different especially the singing and they’re all friendly everyone. Some are complete strangers but absolutely friendly, I think I will stick around.”

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