Luann’s Story

Luann, who works in our Devon team, tells us about some of her personal experiences that gave her the desire to help other homeless individuals.

Staff members with lived experiences bring a valuable perspective to their roles, and Luann is a huge asset to her team!

“My name’s Luann, and I work for Julian House as a case coordinator. I’d like to tell you a little bit about how I came to have a desire to help the homeless; I have some experiences, personal experiences of being in a tent from a young age.”

“I had difficulties at home, and my home life was not great to the point where mine and my mother’s relationship broke down. I was around 17, and I was quite lucky to get support and accommodation, they helped me to gain skills to live independently.”

“Unfortunately I then ended up with a partner at the time in the accommodation, which was lovely at the time, but unfortunately it went a bit wrong. I ended up in a refuge because of that and then went back to the supported accommodation once the person was no longer in Exeter.”

“Then unfortunately I got in another bad relationship in the same accommodation and I ended up being in a tent with him and that’s where we found ourselves. And I had some support from the outreach team at the time. They supported me to get help from the council and apply for the support there.”

“I eventually ended up in a temporary flat from the council and then I ended up in my permanent place. I really have a lot to thank the charity for. They supported me with accommodation not only when I’d been living there, there was also a situation where I was going to find myself on my own, on the street with no one.”

“I was pretty scared about being on my own, even though I’d been on the street before, this time I was on my own; no tent, no sort of support, no-one to kind of keep me safe. One of my hardest challenges when on the street, I would have said, is that the scaredness and that I just didn’t sleep.”

“I couldn’t sleep, and the lack of sleep makes you even more anxious and too aware of what’s going on around you, like any noise. So actually I think it was quite a challenge more for when I went back into somewhere that was safer because I ended up having to have sleep and tablets and things to get by. I just couldn’t sleep, couldn’t switch off. You’re quite in quite a high state of alert when you’re on the street and trying to make sure that you don’t get hurt.”

Luann’s story highlights the importance of our work, which enables individuals to move on from homelessness. 

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