It’s incredible to see a family be so honest and open about their story – especially one that is in equal parts heart-breaking and heart-warming.
After suffering with quite intense anxiety and depression, Ricky had to take time off work to get himself better, whilst his partner Lauren was on maternity leave. This sharp reduction in income meant their debts increased significantly, until they were unable to continue paying both their rent and debt payments, leading to a drastic decision;
"We gave up the flat, moved in with my (Ricky’s) Mum, but overcrowding forced us to think ‘we’ll buy a tent and live in that’. Which we did for 8 MONTHS to clear our debt." Clearly this was a stressful and troubling time for the family, on top of the responsibility of raising their young child and Lauren falling pregnant. Both Lauren and Ricky work full time, and had just got themselves into a position to start looking for a place again when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Ricky’s job as a key worker meant it was too risky to stay anywhere or with anyone else, and so they presented with an emergency need for temporary accommodation. That’s when their relationship with us at Cornerstone Partnership began.
“We had nowhere to go. Oliver from Cornerstone helped us and got us into this property, literally within 24 hours! We were like ‘no, this can’t be the right place!’ It’s beautiful! The gardens are beautiful, the neighbours are beautiful… There’s so much room in here. Clay can run around, he can go into his own room, he can sleep in his own room.”
It’s safe to say that our responsiveness and ability to act quickly when called upon has had massive impact on the family already. All of our properties meet a quality standard, and we ensure that this standard is kept at all times, meaning we can be so reactive when families need our help. The quality of the property, and the community it’s in, has certainly had a big impact on Lauren & Ricky already, and is worlds apart to the situation they were in previously.
Hearing this family’s story, and seeing how much it means to them to be in one of our properties, makes everything worthwhile. Looking to the future, and although this is currently temporary accommodation for the family, it has given them a turning point in their lives, and now they’re focusing on the next chapter.
“There is a future now. Before, there was no escape. We were just thinking we live in this tent; we’re never going to get out of this. But that day we got a phone call to say come and meet Oliver at 1 o clock, here – I swear it was the best day ever."
“There’s a future now. There’s not a dark hole, there’s a future.”