James’s Story

James's story

At 17, James had nowhere to live. The Centre hostel provided an escape from homelessness, and James started turning his life around.
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Annabelle’s story

Annabelle and her baby were facing lockdown in complete isolation until they came to the Cardinal Hume Centre.

Karima’s Story: Lockdown update

Karima is just one of the many parents who came to the Centre in 2019, in crisis, and with the Centre’s support was providing for her four children and their futures. Unexpectedly losing income support in March 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic threw their lives into turmoil. Karima tells her story.

Brenda’s Story

“I was almost 70 years old when I had to start begging,” says Brenda.  “After my partner – the love of my life – died from cancer, I was left without a home.  I used to deliver leaflets through doors to try to make some money. I was willing to do this because you have to work for your income, […]

Feven’s story

The Cardinal Hume Centre provides a wide range of services to the young and homeless. Feven’s story reveals some of the many ways in which just one person may come in to contact with the Centre’s various specialists and helpers. Feven’s smile lights up the room, though her young life has seen its share of challenges. When she first came […]

Martina’s story

Martina moved to London in 1994. Her three children are almost all grown up now, but caring for them as a single mum left her outside the job market for many years. Almost three years ago — struggling to pay the bills — Martina came to the Centre for welfare advice. Not long after her first visit, Martina ended up […]

Hanan’s story

From the moment Hanan, now 19, came to live at the Centre, she had dreamt of finding a job in finance. Bright and determined, she was interviewed several times but never got a job offer. After months and months of preparation and disappointment, she lost confidence and began to feel despondent. “I felt so demotivated by the end of it […]

Fatima’s Story

Few of us know what it feels like to be truly alone. But for Fatima that was a distressing reality when she came to the Cardinal Hume Centre looking for help. Serious disputes with her family had forced her to leave home. She had moved to London with no knowledge of the City and only one friend who she could […]

Afia’s Story

As a doctor, Afia was a strong female figure in her community in Afghanistan, working with local people as well as volunteering with a number of non-governmental organisations including Amnesty International. However, her strength and independence made her a target for the Taliban. Afia explains: “The situation in Afghanistan is not good. Women face a lot of problems if they […]

James’ Story

“Now I get up and go to work with a spring in my step, thinking about what I’ll achieve for the day,” says James who was supported back into work by Sarah Roper in our employment team. James, 53, had worked all his life in the hospitality industry. Starting as an apprentice chef, he progressed to become an area manager […]

Ross’s Story

“My time as a volunteer at the Cardinal Hume Centre was within the context of my seminary formation at Allen Hall, London. As part of our formation program for priesthood we could choose a weekly pastoral placement, to give us exposure to the pastoral needs we may experience later in our priestly ministry. I opted to go to the Cardinal […]

Helen’s Story

“I lost my job and my home. For weeks I was homeless. I carried all my belongings with me as I tried to find a different friend’s sofa to crash on each night. It was difficult and stressful. Had it not been for a kindly passer-by who referred me to a women’s hostel I don’t know how long I would […]

Aaron’s Story

“I was ill but it got to the level where I had to find work, because I couldn’t see my mum struggle like that.” Aaron, 27, was determined to find work to help pay rent despite been seriously ill and entitled to employment support allowance. When he was less than two years old Aaron was diagnosed with Leukaemia. His mother, […]

Elena’s Story

“If I hadn’t come to the Centre I wouldn’t have had the chance to gain work experience at the University of Cambridge.” Elena lived in the Centre’s Hostel for homeless young people for just over one year. She was fiercely independent throughout her time here and truly determined to be able to stand on her own two feet. By the end of […]

Oliver’s Story

“Four and a half months ago I was homeless. I had no family to turn to, and I had been sleeping in a friend’s van most nights, to avoid being out on the streets. On the few nights when I could stay with friends I had to stay up until everyone else had gone to bed before I could get […]

Leila’s Story

Leila is 24 years old. She came to the UK in 2013. Her life as a Palestinian refugee in Syria had become increasingly difficult since the outbreak of fighting in the Civil War. “There was bombing and fighting. It was very dangerous. There was no work, no shops.  No money, no food or even water.  People were eating rubbish, squeezing […]

Jamila’s Story

Jamila, 20, fled from Eritrea when she was just 14 years old. She was fleeing from religious persecution, and after being arrested managed to escape and leave the country with help from an agent. She left behind her father whom she has not seen or heard from since. She made her way to Greece and for two years lived in […]

Efe and Osa’s Story

Just after Christmas we received a heart-warming letter from a young girl called Osa*, who was writing to thank the Centre for the presents she and her family had received at Christmas. Her sweet and eloquent words were particularly moving given the recent struggles she and her family had been through. Osa is just ten years old. In her short […]