Sarah’s Story

image: Sarah

Sarah started using drugs at a young age after the death of her mum. In her twenties she became a mother herself, but found it difficult to cope. Since she arrived at a St Mungo’s hostel, Sarah has overcome all odds in her recovery and has recently moved into her own flat.

Growing up I lived in a noisy house. It was me, my two sisters, my Mum, my Nan and my Grandad. We got along well, I had a good childhood. But then my Mum passed away.

When I lost my mum, we lost the family home and I became homeless. I started using drugs to try to cope with everything and I became addicted. I felt lost.

Being homeless is exhausting. You never feel properly rested, you’re always on edge. At first I slept rough which was horrible. People are so quick to judge and they look down on you. I hope one day people realise that being homeless isn’t a choice. It could happen to anyone.

I started sofa surfing so that I didn’t have to sleep rough.

In my early twenties I gave birth to a baby girl. I love my daughter so much and I looked after her with my partner at the time for a while, but I wasn’t in a good place. The relationship was abusive and I decided it would be best for my daughter to be looked after by someone else.

 

I hope one day people realise that being homeless isn’t a choice.

Eventually I had to flee my ex-partner for my own safety. That’s when I first came to a St Mungo’s hostel called Hope Gardens and things started to look up. The support workers there were really great. I began treatment to help me come off drugs and I slowly started to feel more like myself again. I was working with my St Mungo’s Support Worker and together we eventually found an amazing flat.

I lived at Hope Gardens for two years. When the pandemic started, I moved out to make space for someone else who needed to move in and get help. It was a big change but I felt ready to move on. I moved into temporary accommodation and it was difficult at first. I felt quite lonely and I didn’t know what was going to happen next – I got refused social housing which was tough. But I kept working with my St Mungo’s Support Worker and together we eventually found an amazing flat.

The support workers at St Mungo’s were really great.

Having my own place is incredible. I’m really enjoying making it look nice and buying things for it. At the moment I am concentrating on getting myself back in to a routine, and in the future I also want to get back into work or volunteering. I have my eyes on a dog grooming course which I would love to take part in because I absolutely love dogs!

I’ve also been reconnecting with my daughter. I chat with her and her foster Mum regularly and we get along really well. Sending her away was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make but I know it was the best decision at the time. Her foster family have three other girls around her age who consider her a sister. I’m so happy she has a loving family and that I still get to see her grow. I am so proud of her and who she has become. I wouldn’t change her for the world.

I am slowly recovering and I feel so proud of how far I’ve come. I would love to travel soon – see some sun and just be able to feel like myself again. I feel like I am so close to freedom and it’s very exciting.

 


Interested in reading more of our client’s stories? Read Kevin’s story next.