Julia* is a mother of six children. She was homeless with a severe history of domestic violence and crack use for fifteen years. Due to her experiences other family members cared for her children and for a period she had minimal contact with them.
Her life was spent falling from one traumatic event to the next until she entered homeless services run by the charity St Mungo’s in 2007.
In a bid to change her life she attended a community programme over a three-month period, a residential detox programme, and a long and difficult six months in rehabilitation.
As a result of her efforts and hard work, Julia is now a tenant of a flat provided by Commonweal Housing through a unique partnership between them, St Mungo’s and the London Borough of Lambeth. The Chrysalis project provides housing and support for women who are homeless and have experienced trauma, abuse and sexual exploitation.
Julia is engaging well with her Chrysalis project Support Worker and has been reunited with her immediate family. She is taking an active and responsible role as a mother to her six children, while also looking into completing a college course.
It is her ultimate desire to remain abstinent from crack use, although she knows only too well how difficult it is to fight her long-term addiction. She has lapsed twice within the last year yet has maintained her tenancy through positive support provided by the Chrysalis project and with her own individualised recovery plan.
She views her progress as extremely positive and hopes to regain custody of her youngest children and wants to seek alternative housing in the future.
*name changed for confidentiality