Last year, over half of those referred to us for either Nightstop or Supported Lodgings were homeless due to family breakdown.
Whilst we always see the impact of this on the young people we help, we don’t often get to hear about it from the point of view of a parent or the rest of the family.
Recently, we got this feedback from the mother of a young person we had helped. It was touching to receive, and with her permission we are sharing it because it gives some insight into both the problems that can lead to a young person becoming homeless, and the wider benefits that our work achieves:
“The problems started with my son back when he was 8 years old and his step-dad abandoned him . He started lying, damaging property, throwing away food I couldn’t afford as a single parent. Later he stopped seeing his friends. I think that is when depression set in and things got worse.
He wasn’t interested in a family life at all. He lived in his bedroom, only came down for meals and always looked so angry. Despite my efforts, we had no relationship at all. I couldn’t help him and it was very upsetting and stressful for me. His behaviour worsened. He was lazy, had no respect for us or our personal possessions and we argued every day to the extent that it affected our whole family life. By the time he turned 18, I was at my wits’ end. I wasn’t sleeping, I was in tears most of the time and couldn’t cope any more. We asked him to move out.
We got in touch with a local support agency, who had a meeting with my son and put him in touch with a housing officer. From there he was offered a place first in Nightstop, and then in Supported Lodgings with SASH. They are such an amazing charity. They taught him some life skills, helped guide him regarding job interviews. He went on courses to learn how to cook and how to budget his money and painted a shed for a charity. Getting him out and about has done him a world of good. His support worker was amazing, all credit due to her.
We talked for the first time in years and now he laughs and smiles. He is a different person now all thanks to SASH. He finally appreciates me. I feel happier and the whole family is happier. The whole experience has changed all our lives for the better. We can now build on our relationship.
Thank you for all you have done. You have not only saved my sanity, you have saved our family from total breakdown.”
SASH does a lot more than just putting a roof over someone’s head. The wider support that we offer, including rebuilding relationships wherever possible to help the young person move forward, is central to a successful outcome. Our thanks to this parent for sharing her story.