Marisa’s story: “I feel like I have a chance now to improve my situation”

After becoming homeless, Marisa is now receiving support with her mental health and hopes to get back into work soon

Marisa’s story: “I feel like I have a chance now to improve my situation”

Marisa spent many years working with children after studying childcare in college. She went on to spend time as a playworker manager and then as a nursery nurse until one day she found herself unable to go to work – the stress of her job, of parenthood, the struggle of getting by day after day, had taken a serious toll on her mental health and she just couldn’t function anymore.

Struggling with depression, things began to get worse for Marisa, she felt utterly unable to discuss her problems with her partner and she couldn’t handle bills or deal with her housing situation. Her son went to live with her mother and soon she lost her flat along with everything inside it. She had just had the place refurbished.

Marisa spent several months sofa surfing, feeling lost and isolated without a place of her own. She eventually began receiving support for her mental health from an organisation who referred her on to Thames Reach Greenwich, where she was offered a place in the Greenwich Hub –  a supported accommodation project with onsite psychologists providing specialist, tailored healthcare to residents. 

In a more secure living environment, and with onsite psychological support to hand, Marisa now feels more confident and more able to open up and share her difficulties. She has been at the Hub for four months and continues to receive support for her mental health.

She has also been making use of the Thames Reach Employment and Skills team, which helps people to access training and employment opportunities. She has had help with writing a new CV and is now feeling ready to try and get back into work.

“I’ve been using all the resources available. They offer you so many opportunities at Thames Reach. I really want to make the most of them,” she said.

Thames Reach support worker Robin, who works at the Greenwich Hub, said of Marisa: “It’s been great to see her develop her talents. She is determined to move forward and return to work, and hopefully secure long term accommodation. She has used this time to plan for the future and make changes towards this. Marisa has made use of the support available from local services, and at the same time we’ve seen her confidence grow.”       

With her mental health in a better place than it’s been for a long time, and with the confidence to share and open up, Maria’s aim now is to get her own flat and then to do a health and social care apprenticeship so she can t finish her Level 3 Health and Social Care course and get further work in the care sector.

“I feel like I have a chance now to improve my situation and I really want to develop personally and professionally to move forward with my life,” she said.