As with many people who find themselves homeless, a series of events led to Hightown tenant Natasha ending up in a situation she could never have imagined.
Forced to escape from an abusive marriage and living with a painful health condition that left her struggling with her mental wellbeing, Natasha found herself at the Open Door night shelter in St Albans.
She eventually moved on to Kent House, Hightown’s temporary accommodation service for people experiencing homelessness, where she spent the next 18 months. However, she longed for a place she could call her own so she could begin to rebuild her life.
“Life was tough while I was at Kent House. I had left everything behind when I fled my marriage, so I had nothing. I was also in a difficult place emotionally and living with constant pain. I kept asking myself, what have I done to deserve this?”
Throughout these difficult times, Natasha used her creativity to cope with the emotional upheaval, learning how to make natural soaps, candles and hair and beauty products. She adds: “Having that creative outlet meant that I didn’t completely fall apart.”
Fortunately, in May this year, Natasha received the news she had been waiting for – a Hightown affordable rent property had become available. Natasha moved in to her one bedroom city centre apartment in June this year and she couldn’t be happier.
“It’s lovely - so bright and airy with a wonderful view. It’s so refreshing to at last be able to clear my mind and think. I viewed the property virtually and moved in during lockdown. Hightown has been amazing in every aspect of the move - I can’t fault them in any shape or form.”
With the support of Hightown's lettings team, Natasha has been able to secure a voucher from community network Herts Help to buy some basic household items. She now has her sights set firmly on the future and would like to volunteer to help people who have had similar experiences to herself.
“Once I’m ready, I’m hoping to pursue a new career in dental nursing. I plan to combine this with my soap making skills and would like to be able to run soap making classes for people like myself who are going through homelessness or domestic violence. My new home is the light at the end of the tunnel, the hope, the future for my beautiful life.”