Sarah’s early life included abuse, with her family unit breaking down, resulting in her being kicked out of the family home.

Sarah went through a combination of homelessness, substance misuse and criminal justice issues. She also experienced multiple traumas, including racial and sexual abuse, and struggled with her mental health. All of these have contributed to the difficulty in securing and sustaining accommodation.

Sarah found it very difficult to engage with services, and was revolving in and out of hospital, offending and street homelessness, combined with abusive relationships.

She sought help, presenting in a crisis at Shelter and was supported and referred to Inspiring Change Manchester (ICM). Sarah said that she was previously not given a way to co-produce her direction and that ICM was different. (Co-production means everyone works together, as equals).

She has since worked with the Housing First service, and built up a great working relationship with her engagement worker. Her support is in an environment that she now feels comfortable with. Since moving into her own property, there has been no police involvement.

Sarah believes that being able to co-produce her support has been the biggest help in her recovery.