Dora* found herself in an unimaginable situation when she arrived in the UK as a refugee. Following the death of her mother and brother at a young age, and with her father still in Zimbabwe, she had nowhere to call home.

Dora slept on a friend’s sofa while balancing a full-time job in a care home. She found herself moving around, living with various friends, with no permanent home and no stability in her life. Dora moved in with her aunt, but the relationship broke down and she found herself sofa surfing once again.

Dora came to Youth AIMS – based in our Aldershot headquarters – and the team helped her explore her housing options. They made a referral to our Step 1 accommodation, which has round-the-clock support available. Dora was ambitious and keen to succeed, her ultimate goal to join the army and become an Aircraft Technician.

After two months of living with Step by Step, Dora moved to Step 2 accommodation, which offers more independence. She engaged well with the services available to her, attending regular STEP sessions and joining in with cooking meals for everyone. She even visited schools and companies to talk about Step by Step. With her renewed confidence, Dora was able to find herself a job as a care assistant and started attending a gym to focus on her health and wellbeing.

Now that she has stable accommodation and the support of people who believe in her, Dora can start to work towards goals that had been out of reach while homeless.

*Name changed to respect privacy.

Dora was accommodated by youth homeless charity Step by Step Donate View all Stories