Nikki’s Story

Nikki has begun to re-grow her support network, gained vital budgeting skills and feels optimistic about her future again.

In a violent relationship and escaping a difficult home life, Nikki became homeless and was dependent on sleeping on friend’s sofas. She had no fixed home for three months.

Around 18 months ago Nikki moved to supported housing with the Close Street Young People scheme in Carlisle. She explains that moving into supported housing has meant her life has totally changed: “I didn’t have a lot of respect when I moved in and treated it a bit like a doss house, but now I have respect for it and it’s my home.”

“The first day I moved in I stood outside, scared, but then some of the residents came out and helped me move my stuff in. They were really nice and made me feel better about the future.”

“I’m now more responsible, have my independence and I have matured. In fact, I even help out the staff with difficult situations with other young people.”

Nikki has made friends for life now too and started to build bridges with her family. She has also paid off her rent arrears and has learnt budgeting skills that help her to keep up to date with her rent and other outgoings.

Nikki says if it wasn’t for supported housing she “would have ended up on the street and being in an abusive relationship. Things would not be the way they are now and I’ve really grateful for the support I’ve had to help me become the person I am now.”

“It means the world – I’ve loved living here at Close Street. Supported housing gives you a safe and secure place to live. There are rules but these are to help you to develop. I’m a different person and have great friends that will last for life.”

Since she has become pregnant Nikki is getting help to find alternative accommodation for herself and her baby.

“I will really miss everyone. They won’t get rid of me that easily though as the staff are great!”

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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