Lizzie was alone, homeless and afraid.
Sleeping on cold concrete floors in corners, in abandoned buildings and dark alleys. Her coat pulled up as a makeshift blanket, never quite long enough to cover her whole body no matter how much she curled up. Unwashed clothes bundled up into an inadequate pillow.
Made invisible by homelessness
Some nights she slept on strangers’ sofas. Many nights she slept on the sofas and floors of unfamiliar people in unfamiliar houses. Staying with men who made her feel afraid, not able to trust anyone, not able to lock the door- or having the door locked on her, unable to return to the same place twice.
Lizzie found herself shuffled between the streets and sofa-surfing. Never knowing for sure where she would end up each night and whether she’ll get through the night unharmed.
She became one of the many hidden homeless. Homeless and afraid. Unseen and uncounted. Looked past and unseen.
Like 9 out of 10 people facing homelessness, Lizzie had experienced trauma in her past – and struggled with its impact, leading to addiction.
A place of safety
She came to Oasis Community Housing during the pandemic. Coming to one of our homelessness drop ins for support and warmth. Here she could access clean showers, fresh clothes, and hot drinks and always had a friendly face to chat to. And more than that: we reminded her that she was seen, that she was heard and that she mattered.
When Lizzie was housed, Oasis Community Housing continued to offer her support. A few years later and Lizzie now has her own tenancy. She recently got in touch during some cold, wet weather to say: “Now I have my own home and my own key. I’m safe. Thank you.”