Our service user stories

 

Sophie, a 21-year-old survivor who was supported to flee abuse at short notice:

“Because of the support from Solace, I was able to flee abuse and start afresh in a new home for myself. My caseworker organised the cost of the train journey to view the new property and paid towards removal costs and essential works, so it was ready for me to move in at short notice. With the helping hand of my caseworker, we were able to have everything set up for me to move safely. This support opened up a door to a new life for me and helped remove some of the financial barriers that were between me and living a life free of abuse. Thank you.” 

 

 

Amelia, an elder survivor who has been shielding over the last 18 months during the pandemic due to complex health needs:

“I’ve been shielding due to my age and lung condition for many months now, and Solace has been the only help I’ve had during this time. I live alone and have felt isolated from old friends and family since I fled abuse. I was so worried about how I would get by on my own during the lockdowns, but the weekly food parcels and phone calls from Solace have really brightened my days and helped me to carry on. I like that I can get the food that I want and need - fruit, vegetables, and the biscuits I like! It’s also reassuring to know there is someone I can speak to about my benefits and health to support me to get more help.” 

 

 

Violet, a single mother who was supported to flee abuse and move into a secure tenancy after staying in temporary accommodation with her baby for several months:

“I felt such relief when my baby son and I were supported to get long-term housing, but the prospect of having to start over again in an empty flat made me so anxious. I had to leave behind all my belongings when I fled the abuse at home. I didn’t have a bed for myself or anything for our new place. Solace stepped in to help again exactly when I needed them. They made sure I had the essentials – a kettle, microwave, bed, and cot – for the move in day. And a few days later, I had everything I needed to make the new flat feel homely. It was so difficult to get the courage to leave the abusive relationship I was in as I’m a single parent on a low income, and I knew I would have really struggled to afford a move like this at such short notice. Solace’s support has empowered me to create the best start for me and my son in our new home.” 

“Now I feel like I have my place where I am safe. I have a place where I can go to sleep; I’m safe, I have my shower, I can cook my food. Before I was on the street - I wasn’t safe, and I was scared 24 hours a day.  I can finally do my things, if I am hungry, I can make my food; if I need to wash my clothes, I can do that. I feel like a human, not an animal. Before on the streets, where I couldn’t wash my clothes, I had to stay in dirty clothes. Now I can sleep in a bed, I can use the shower when I want. I feel like a human should feel. This is most important, is because I am a woman and I feel safe.  

I can close the door, and I feel really safe and really comfortable with that. Nobody is going to come to me in the night-time and wake me up and ask me about not nice things, I feel safe. This is the most important for me because before every night I was going to sleep feeling scared. I think for most women it’s very important to just feel safe, because on the street you don’t feel safe, especially at the night-time. 

I have a son, and I have my mum, and I can just invite them here, it’s much better. They can come to me for visits, I can show them London, they can stay here comfortably, so it’s very good for me. I’m thinking about some courses, and I bought a sewing machine and will start to learn. Keeping myself busy and doing something that I like. On the streets, you don’t have time to think about this, your focus is on making money and food and finding a place for another night because usually, you’re sleeping in different places every night.” 

Esme - Housing First 

 

"I was homeless - living in a cold derelict building with no support services four years ago. I had to sleep under three duvets, and I had nothing. The council referred me to a B&B before I got into a hostel where I was for three years, then I was introduced to Solace Housing First. I didn't know anything about Housing Associations until then. This flat just feels like a dream. I never imagined I would get housed in this area. I feel so lucky, I could have been God knows where. I feel like things have just got better and better.” 

Ruby- Housing First