Rav’s Story

“I became homeless with my partner after having to leave a mutual friends house due to difficult circumstances. Neither of us was able to return to our parents homes due to family breakdowns, we have no where permanent to stay and no income. “

 

“After a few days sofa surfing I came into contact with an old friend who offered us his car which was off the road to stay in temporarily whilst we found somewhere more stable to stay. We thought at the time it would only be for a couple of days so accepted his help. Unfortunately a couple of days turned into 3 months living cramped with all our belongings in a Ford KA during winter with no heating as the car having engine failure. The car quickly became damp our belongings got mouldy resulting in us in having to throw them away leaving us with limited clothes to keep warm. We became ill due to exposure to the harsh environment and our personal hygiene began to suffer. We struggled to find money for food and sometimes went days without eating anything or drinking clean water. When we were lucky enough to get food I would make sure my partner ate as keeping her safe was my priority despite our situation.”

 

We were unable to apply for jobs as we had no fixed address and the situation left us both severely depressed. We tried to seek help from Peterborough City Council but we were told we wasn’t a priority or in a vulnerable enough situation to provide us with accommodation. A number of times the council and the police tried to move us on but still refused to help us with accommodation. Whilst living in the car we came into contact with a BBC news reporter who was doing a story about homeless in Peterborough. We explained our situation and our story got aired on local BBC News.

As a result of the news story we came into contact with YMCA who offered us an interview for supported accommodation. After a couple of days we received the good news that we have both been offered rooms at the YMCA facility in Peterborough.

 

Since moving to YMCA we have both been provided with the individual support we needed in a stable and safe environment. I have received counselling to help me with my depression which has helped to boost in my confidence. Employment advice from my key worker has put me in the position where I can now apply for jobs and I have been achieved my CSCS card.

I can not thank YMCA enough for all the support they have given me. Without the help from YMCA I would be in a totally different situation, I would probably still be living in the Ford KA or worse”.