Abena’s* parents separated when she was just a young girl. Angry at the world and her situation she became isolated – one of the many young people with no place to call home.
Abena lacked stability throughout her childhood with no fixed place to call home. Her relationship with her mum had soured since her parents had split-up.
She spent most of her childhood moving between her dad’s, her aunties and grandma’s houses, packing up her life with each move she made. Abena craved stability, a place to call home – something every child should have.
‘It was just exhausting for me, just not having anywhere to stay, or a stable family, stable household.’
Frustrated with her situation she fell out with her siblings, and with nowhere to turn she fell in with the wrong crowd.
Abena was referred to Oasis Community Housing through the local council where she began her journey out of homelessness.
Adjusting to her new surroundings and situation, Abena struggled at first to embed herself and engage with the support from the No.3 supported accommodation project in Southwark. She often needed reminders and encouragement to attend key workshops where she received support.
Abena Initially avoided staff, as well as her studies at college. She had no real support network that looked out for her, except for the staff at our No.3 project. Outside our No.3 project Abena felt vulnerable and alone.
It was during these times that she became susceptible to socialising within the wrong social circles.
Staff recognised that she needed to move away from her toxic friendship circles. This led to Abena moving to another of our projects in Southwark.
It was a move that allowed Abena to come to the realisation that her key workers were there to support her.
‘My key workers and the people that supported me, they never once gave up on me.’
Abena began engaging with the service, working closely with staff and showing dedication and perseverance to overcome the frustrations and challenges she faced, so she could work towards getting a place of her own to call home.
Within a few months of the move Abena had secured a flat of her own.
‘When I first got my place, I felt that there was a lot of weight lifted off my chest.’
What the future holds
Abena has now been living in her new home for over six months and is looking positively toward the future. A keen nail art designer, Abena aspires to start her own nail business.
From having no place to call home to finding stability – Abena found hope through support from Oasis Community Housing.
*Name changed for anonymity