Katey’s story – finding home sweet home

16 July 2019

I was determined that my daughter would not grow up with the same sense of insecurity and fear that I had as a child, never knowing how long a house would be a home.

Living in limbo

You don’t need to be rough sleeping to be homeless. I first experienced homelessness when I was a child; my mum wasn’t well which meant she often struggled to keep up with bills, we constantly had to move. Without having somewhere permanent to call home a lot of the time, I now I realise I was homeless for about two years of my childhood.

The distress caused by living in temporary accommodation as a child made me determined to give my own children a better and more stable future. At the age of 21, I became a mum. We were renting a house but when my daughter Ellie was still in primary school, our landlord wanted it back. My daughter and I quickly became homeless.

Feeling trapped

Katey with her daughter Ellie

When my daughter was 18 months old, I started to suffer from Fibromyalgia, a chronic illness that left me physically disabled. We needed a home that would cater for my disability; accessibility and ease of access was crucial for us.

For two years, we were placed in temporary accommodation. I did my best to make life as normal as possible for Ellie but I longed to give her the safety and security of a place to call ‘home’. We were offered a house with stairs and inadequate heating; it was also 20 miles from the nearest town. With my pain and mobility issues, the house was completely unsuitable for us. I felt trapped. We were put under pressure to take the property, and threatened to be removed from the housing register completely if we didn’t.

Shelter Cymru – helping people in Wales 

Thankfully, I got in touch with Shelter Cymru. Through their advice and guidance; I was given the knowledge and confidence to fight for my rights. We got the result we needed and we moved into a bungalow, one which has been our home sweet home for 12 years.

Last year, Shelter Cymru helped almost 20,000 people in Wales fight for their rights, get back on their feet and find and keep a home.

Housing is a key factor in determining a person’s health, well-being and their prospects in life. Shelter Cymru advisers are seeing more and more clients who are either at risk of losing their home or are already homeless. Their support is free of charge and available to anyone in Wales who needs it.

Leaving a gift in your Will to Shelter Cymru

One in every fifteen people that Shelter Cymru supports is funded through gifts in Wills. Leaving a gift in your Will to Shelter Cymru will help them overcome the barriers that stand in the way of people in Wales having a decent, secure home.

If you’d like more information on leaving a gift in your Will to Shelter Cymru, please contact Francesca Hourihan on 029 2055 6901 or email francescah@sheltercymru.org.uk.