Joss* came to live in Farnborough with her mum when she was five years old. Her mum was living with depression and had a problem with drug addiction which led to Joss being asked to leave home when she was 16. One of her two sisters went to live in foster care, the other was in a position to live with her father.

Joss stayed with friends for a few weeks and, while she was there, the family put her in touch with Step by Step. Joss' accommodation options were considered and it was deemed that one would not be the most appropriate environment for her because of the potential exposure to criminal activity and drug use, so she was offered a Step by Step Supported Lodgings placement. She described her Supported Lodgings Hosts as 'amazing', and is still in contact with them eight years later.

While Joss was experiencing this uncertainty and instability in her life, she was in college. She achieved highly and went on to gain a 2:1 in IT Computer Forensics at Bournemouth University. This is real testament to the importance and value of the security and stability afforded to her by her Supported Lodgings Hosts.

Today, Joss enjoys a close relationship with her sisters and a much improved relationship with her mum. She is employed with an aerospace company as an IT Services Engineer, and is living in a rented home with her partner and newly adopted cat. Joss has recently been accepted onto a Masters course which is being funded by her employers. Her ambition is to become a Consultant Information Security Analyst.

Joss' hope is that, in sharing a little of her story, she will,

"send a message to others who have been through traumatic experiences that there is a light at the end of the tunnel if you persevere."

By way of a thank you, Joss is planning on undertaking some fundraising activity to support the ongoing work of Step by Step

*Name changed to respect privacy.

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