Belonging to a Community
Haben is 49 years old and migrated to the UK in 2018, since this time, she has lived with a family who employed her as a live-in Housekeeper/Nanny. When the Covid-19 Pandemic happened, the family were unable to keep Haben on as an employee and terminated her employment. As this was a live – in role, Haben instantly lost her job and her home. With no family in the UK and no friends that she could stay with, Haben started rough sleeping.
As the winter months drew in, Haben became unwell with the flu and started experiencing severe back pain from months of not having a bed to sleep on. Haben’s mental health began to deteriorate, and she contemplated suicide. Haben had to find resourceful ways to stay warm throughout the night so she began riding the night buses and fortunately made friends with a bus driver who would allow Haben to stay on his bus for the night.
Great Chapel Street GP Surgery told Haben about the Marylebone Centre and she attended the rough Sleeper Drop – in. After being isolated for so long, Haben appreciated having the staff team to speak with, she longed to be part of a community and feel as though she ‘belonged’. The Government Lockdown made it difficult to address social isolation, however, the Centre team worked creatively to keep service users connected during this period. Haben was invited to attend activities and webinars via zoom and was given Art and Craft packs.
Staff worked with Haben to holistically address her support needs; Haben was given food, clothing, and toiletries. As the social distancing restrictions eased, Haben expressed an interest in our Sewing classes, our Education and Employment workers enrolled Haben onto our 6-week beginners Sewing Course. Our Housing Advisor successfully referred Haben into temporary accommodation, where Haben was allocated a Support worker who would assist her in finding permanent housing. Haben declined counselling and talking therapies support but she benefited from speaking with the staff team. Haben is still attending Sewing classes at the Marylebone Centre; she has acquired the skills to create clothing and accessories and has agreed to take part the Centre fashion show to showcase her creations. Due to the physical impact that rough sleeping had on Haben’s body, she attends Body Alignment sessions which are available at our Centre, this includes Maori healing, Reiki and crystal therapy along with myofascial and connective tissue release work. Haben has reported feeling much better as a result of this.