I remember the moment I decided that this couldn’t go on. I was sitting in a day centre for homeless women, feeling frustrated. For months I'd been in the same position, hoping and waiting for a hostel room. My life was at a standstill. That moment was a wakeup call for me. I realised that I had to take back control. That very day, I went to my support worker and told her of my ambition to get back to work and my passion for beauty and make-up. And she referred me to Beam!
I have always loved doing this type of work - it's exciting to create different styles and see the beauty when you finish. Before I became homeless, I had my own mobile business, doing hair and make-up for my clients.
But after the sudden deaths of two family members in 2017, I had to leave the country for six months to organise their affairs. By the time I returned I had lost both my business and my flat. I spent the next seven months constantly on the move, sofa surfing with different friends or staying at night shelters.
Since being referred to Beam I have found a space in a hostel and can't wait to get started with my training. With these new skills and a full diploma, a lot of doors will open for me. Steady work will let me find a place of my own again and, God willing, in five years time I want to be opening my own salon. It's amazing to me that people have good hearts and want to help others in this way - I just want to say thank you!
For personal reasons Emma has chosen to use a pseudonym rather than her real name.