Sarah moved to Llanelli from Milford Haven on Christmas Eve. She had been living in a large four-bedroom house owned by the parents of her ex-husband and the relationship between both parties had broken down. Her ex parents in-law were acting as landlords, but the house was in a state of disrepair and the difficult relationship between them made it impossible to fix.
Then the relationship between Sarah and her new partner broke down and he moved out. She found herself without an income, living in a large house, without heating, with a young daughter. Sarah says she and her daughter;
“Tried to take up as little space as possible to keep warm”.
Sarah had a history of substance misuse but had remained clean from drugs for a number of years. The stress of the situation caused her to start drinking more heavily than usual and she soon realised that her drinking was spiralling out of control:
“It happened slowly over time. I didn’t realise how bad things had got until I suddenly found myself unable to cope without a drink and close to a nervous breakdown. That’s when I knew things needed to change”.
Sarah accessed support for her drinking from South West Wales Substance Misuse Service, and was referred to The Wallich for help with her unsuitable accommodation.
“Henry, my support worker at The Wallich was amazing. It was like this huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. He helped me with everything and found a small two-bed house for me and my daughter, which was affordable for me, and close enough that my daughter didn’t have to move schools. We moved out of my ex in-laws house and removing myself from that situation suddenly made everything seem much brighter. I could see a light at the end of the tunnel”.
Sarah then undertook a detox programme and has been sober for a number of months. She started a pottery class at the local college and began volunteering at The British Heart Foundation Charity Shop.
Sarah is now looking forward to a new chapter;
“Life is so much better now and everyone has noticed the difference in me. So many doors are opening up for me and I’m really excited about the future”.
Read about other experiences of homelessness: Our Stories