Selam’s Journey

Working towards running a business

Selam is 38 years old, she and her family migrated to the UK when she was 7 years old. she has a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, due to previously being in an abusive relationship.

Selam’s mental health difficulties means that she intermittently experiences mood swings and can become aggressive at times. Subsequently, Selam had a breakdown in family relationship and was told to leave the home. Selam suddenly became street homeless for the first time. After a few days of sleeping on buses and outside a tube station, Selam was approached by the outreach team who found her a hostel to stay in. The hostel was extremely unclean and Selam felt unsafe due to regularly being propositioned by the other men who lived there. Selam returned to rough sleeping as she felt so unsafe in the hostel.

Selam was told about the Marylebone Project by an outreach worker, and she booked an appointment with our Advice worker. She was thrilled to find a woman- only service and she immediately felt safe in this environment, Selam had previously stayed in a mixed Hostel and she expressed feeling unsafe, particularly at night. Selam explained the abhorrent conditions that she was living in and she looked forward to attending the Marylebone Centre to use the brand-new showering facilities.

Selam was encouraged to get involved in the courses and activities at the Centre. She initially shied away from any educational activities as she had no qualifications or CV. After 2 months of attending the Centre Selam has been enrolled onto a bespoke Business Skills course, run by Westminster Business School. Our Advice worker signposted Selam into stable accommodation and she is being supported to find paid employment. Selam was reluctant to speak about her mental health difficulties with staff and has so far rejected any support with this; however, reports feeling happier and more resilient because she has taken the time to invest in herself through the meaningful activity Programme.

I don’t know what I would have done without the Marylebone Project. I literally would have been homeless living on the streets if they didn’t help me. The Centre is nice and clean, so I love to come here to shower and do my laundry. I didn’t expect to be given the opportunity to better myself, I am now doing a Business Skills course and I will run my own business one daySelam, Service User

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