Please have a read! A testimonial from a client we have continued to help during Lockdown! this highlights the fantastic work our Lifeshare team do:
I am a young person who has been a service user of Lifeshare for over a year since long standing family circumstances caused me to become homeless.
Before becoming homeless I had a full time job and was studying for my degree and so the saying ‘we are all only ever one bad experience away from homelessness’ really was highlighted to me. Growing up for me it was perfectly normal to be scared of when family members would come home, having chest pains before leaving school, not joining extracurricular activities as it would mean breaking schedule, (something that was not acceptable without plenty of notice) and to not like having people over because of how my parents would react. Becoming a teenager and young adult was the most difficult part, none of my hobbies and interest met my mums standards of what was acceptable for me to do, my interest in working with my hands was met with disapproval and wanting to pursue a degree was ‘stupid’ I was really unhappy but assumed this was normal until one day after an assault, I was thrown out onto the street with nothing but the clothes I was wearing, a tablet and my car. After a period of sleeping in a car and sofa surfing, I was introduced to Lifeshare by another company called Centre Point (Under 25s homeless centre).
Lifeshare took me straight away, arranged temporary accommodation, got me help for my declining mental health, gave me a place to meet other young people, have food and a coffee, be creative, express myself and so much more.
At Lifeshare, I was listened to, The team really listened to my background, my ambitions and my interest and honestly, it was (and still is) strange to have people who truly are supportive of me. I was offered a hot drink and a pot noodle and felt safe and valued as a person with needs, interests and experiences. I don’t think I will forget the first time I walked into the office. I was then introduced to my Key Worker, Lifeshare worked hard with other Manchester agencies to get me the support I needed in housing, health and food.
At one point, I lost hope and just felt a strain on services, despite everyone in Lifeshare reassuring me that I wasn’t, I attempted suicide, Lifeshare got me into hospital and ensured I was safe, Lifeshare visited me several times to check I was OK and to bring clothes and food, on my discharge (my birthday), with donations that Lifeshare secured, I was put into a B&B and was assured that if I ever felt low again, everyone was only ever a phone call away.
Whilst I was in this B&B, Lifeshare continued to work with me, I was given vouchers, food parcels, clothing, shoes and a very nice shower kit. I truly felt as if people cared about me, Lifeshare continued to listen and care as they attempted to move me on into more permanent hostels.
Alongside the work Lifeshare were doing in terms of housing etc, they offered a service twice a week where myself and other young people were just given space, nothing that went on outside that few hours was mentioned unless we wanted it to be, it was just a nice space to enjoy art, music, food and drink, computers, writing and just anything that we wanted to sort whilst there. I found these sessions to just be nice, just stress free for a few hours.
Eventually, I was put into a more permanent hostel where I was able to get back to work, look at Uni again and really move forwards, all the time having the support of everyone at Lifeshare, even when I messed it all up by getting into dodgy housing, Lifeshare went above and beyond to get me into my own home, not just a house, but my own home. Lifeshare worked extremely hard under time constraints to get funding for my first months rent and deposit and now I am in my own home (It still feels so weird to be home).
Even now at this really happy time, Lifeshare have told me they are still only a phone call away if I ever need help with things. I am now set to go back to uni and work toward a positive future and to give back to Lifeshare what they gave to me and help another young person move forward.
Overall, Lifeshare has been fantastic, as cliche as it sounds, I honestly would not be alive if not for the hard work and compassion of everyone at Lifeshare, my life was not only saved by them but improved so much. I still have a long way to go in becoming a better person and learning things about life I should already know, but I know that Lifeshare will always be there as they have done.
Now, thanks to Lifeshare, I can move on from my past and build a positive future.