Shukri was a young teenager when she left Somalia with her husband and sought asylum in London. Sadly, her new home proved just as unsafe.

She soon became a victim of domestic abuse and was forced to flee her husband. She sought sanctuary with a family in London who offered her a room in exchange for housework and childcare. However, the family were exploitative and gave Shukri little freedom. Shukri reached crisis point – she decided to leave the family and start again. Shukri walked out just a few days after Christmas. It was cold; she had nowhere to go, no money, and no friends who could help. That’s when she turned to CARAS.

Our team worked hard getting in touch with shelters and local contacts until we found her somewhere to stay temporarily. We then supported Shukri to research her options and apply for housing association accommodation. The process included supporting Shukri to make a statement about the abuse she had experienced, an emotionally challenging task. CARAS continued working with Shukri until she was offered more permanent accommodation and supported her to move in and get settled.

We continued to support Shukri to apply for college places so that she could start to build an independent and active life in the UK. Shukri attended our youth clubs where she made friends and was finally able to develop safe and trusting relationships. Now Shukri lives a completely independent life. She has been given permanent housing and finally sees London as her home.

Every year there is a drastic increase in homelessness over the Christmas period. Normal safety nets such as hostels are likely to be overwhelmed. CARAS always has a staff member on call throughout Christmas and New Year so we can ensure that immediate support is available.

Helps us to be there for other young people like Shukri – donate to our Christmas Appeal.