Winta’s Story

Winta arrived the Cardinal Hume Centre after many months living on the streets, in night shelters and on friends’ floors. “As a female it was very difficult,” she explains, as she recalls life in the night shelters, where loneliness and hunger were the norm. “They gave you food, but I had no appetite,” she explains. “Every other day people would come in and out. You would go from one church to another. If I made friends they would then go. Things were always changing.”

Because of Winta’s time on the streets, our expert advisor, Gareth, was able to refer her to St Mungo’s clearing house, which provides temporary supported accommodation for people who have experienced street homelessness. “Winta showed remarkable patience while we were trying to get her sorted,” explains Gareth. “I remember that she’d come in [to the Centre] to use the computer, and on her way out she’d ask ‘have you heard anything yet?”. Eventually, Winta took hold of the keys to a one-bedroom property in Southwark, a place which she can now call home at least for a while. “It’s good,” says Winta. “I can clean it by myself. I can do what I like. There are no arguments. I’ve got freedom.”

Winta now spends her days working as a care worker, a job she found independently. Although she is on a zero-hours contract, she is happy in her work and would like to study social care in the future. She is a familiar face at the Centre, using our IT suite to help her realise her ambitions. “Winta is a strong woman,” says Gareth, “She’s determined to live a better life and she’s made remarkable progress.”