Jenny’s story

If I hadn’t have moved into Olivia Lodge then my baby would have probably been removed. I’d have had a break down and become homeless. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

Jenny moved into Jenny moved into the Great Places supported housing scheme after being evicted from a hostel where she had ended up after being thrown out of her mother’s house. Jenny had a very young child when she was given a place at Olivia Lodge, a scheme for women aged 16-25 who are either pregnant or have children up to the age of 5.

This is Jenny’s story:

“I was made homeless after being thrown out of my mother’s house after a relationship breakdown. I was placed in a hostel but was evicted due to fighting and rent arrears. I had social services involvement and was a deemed a ‘child in need’. There had also been issues with child sexual exploitation.

My Connexions worker referred me to Olivia Lodge. I applied in early pregnancy and was on the waiting list for approximately eight months. When I moved in my child was put straight onto child protection. If I hadn’t have moved into Olivia Lodge then my baby would have probably been removed. I’d have had a break down and become homeless. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

My life has changed immeasurably. I have become more independent, my behaviour has improved and I have grown up. I have done budgeting work, paid off my former rent arrears and keep up to date with my bills. I now have a good relationship with my mum and am in a stable relationship with my boyfriend.

I have learnt how to cook and keep my home in good condition. I have accessed parenting courses and the local Sure Start. I have built up a good support network. I am currently applying for my provisional driving license and have been accepted onto a college course in Health and Social Care which will help me achieve my dream of becoming a midwife.

I have engaged with support from the scheme in developing my independent living skills and I now actively bidding for my own property and hope to get one soon. Social services no longer need to be involved for me or my child.”

Help raise awareness

Thousands of people have gained their independence through supported housing. The Starts at Home campaign aims to ensure that people who need extra support will always have a home that meets their needs.

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