Success Stories

In addition to the donations we’ve made to a variety of homelessness charities, we now primarily help families who are experiencing homelessness by supporting Family Action‘s Open Doors programme. Here are some success stories from the programme. Identities have been changed to protect service users.

Sarah is in her 30s and was experiencing domestic abuse and homelessness. She received support to improve her confidence and help her to navigate the justice system. Sarah and her son had to abandon everything after the abuse. When she was able to find her own accommodation she still needed beds for herself and her son, which a grant from the programme was able to provide.  “As soon as I heard that I had got the grant, a smile came on my face – I hadn’t smiled for months. When you have come from a domestic abuse scenario and when you hear no, no, no all the time, when somebody turns around and says YES, it makes you feel positive, it makes you feel you can achieve something, you can do it.”

Sarah is in her 30s and was experiencing domestic abuse and homelessness. She received support to improve her confidence and help her to navigate the justice system. Sarah and her son had to abandon everything after the abuse. When she was able to find her own accommodation she still needed beds for herself and her son, which a grant from the programme was able to provide.  “As soon as I heard that I had got the grant, a smile came on my face – I hadn’t smiled for months. When you have come from a domestic abuse scenario and when you hear no, no, no all the time, when somebody turns around and says YES, it makes you feel positive, it makes you feel you can achieve something, you can do it.”

Lucinda is in her 20s and was also experiencing domestic abuse and homelessness. She received support to help find accommodation and education opportunities. Lucinda escaped from very serious domestic abuse, but she then had to start from scratch. When she first went to the refuge she had absolutely nothing, only the clothes she stood up in. Her Open Doors Grant was able to buy her basic furniture, including a baby chair and table. Her three children have settled well, and she has used the leftover money to buy cleaning products and the material needed to make curtains. Lucinda says that “the grant helps me see that I am strong. I feel confident that life can get better, I am on my way forwards. The grant has made things so different: I am happy, the kids are happy and I know I can help myself now. You have given me the start I need. Thank you, really.”

Lucinda is in her 20s and was also experiencing domestic abuse and homelessness. She received support to help find accommodation and education opportunities. Lucinda escaped from very serious domestic abuse, but she then had to start from scratch. When she first went to the refuge she had absolutely nothing, only the clothes she stood up in. Her Open Doors Grant was able to buy her basic furniture, including a baby chair and table. Her three children have settled well, and she has used the leftover money to buy cleaning products and the material needed to make curtains. Lucinda says that “the grant helps me see that I am strong. I feel confident that life can get better, I am on my way forwards. The grant has made things so different: I am happy, the kids are happy and I know I can help myself now. You have given me the start I need. Thank you, really.”

Identities have been changed to protect those we support. Names and images used are for imaginative purposes only. Everything else is factual.

Before accessing a grant from the Open Doors programme, only 14% of recipients reported feeling in control or completely in control of their lives. After receiving the grant 73% felt in control or completely in control.

The feeling of being ‘out of control’ may be linked to the fact that the grant is often received at a point of crisis or a point of significant change, such as moving from homelessness into secure housing. Receiving a grant is part of being able to transition to feeling in control and for recipients to feel more able to ‘take charge’ of their lives. For those that feel neither in control nor out of control, there remains a sense that progress has been made:

”I don’t think I feel in complete control yet, but the grant showed me that there is a way out – before I was stuck and trapped” – Grant recipient

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