Raya’s Story


When we met Raya, she had been sofa surfing between friends for a couple of weeks. Raya’s home life had become volatile. What felt like months of constant arguments had become too much to bear and Raya told us she had made attempts to end her own life. Pushed to breaking point, Raya felt she had no choice but to leave home. Filled with anxiety from not knowing where she could turn to next, Raya got in touch with hyh.



Fear for her life


Young people like Raya, with difficult home lives, are more vulnerable to criminal exploitation. Raya had become involved with a local gang and now there were areas of Hertfordshire that she couldn’t go to for fear of her life. 

We could offer Raya a place to stay with Crashpad, who provide us temporary emergency accommodation for young people with nowhere else to go. However, youth homelessness is growing and there is often a lot of pressure on services. We could only offer Raya a bed in her local area, where her physical safety was at risk, or on the other side of the county, away from her support network and making it difficult for Raya to get to work.



Unclear paths


Our hyh homelessness advisor explained Raya’s options to her. Both options came with their drawbacks, but we would be there to guide Raya, whichever path she went down. 

Raya was given a glimmer of hope when Children’s Services offered to fund her travel costs for travelling to work if she took the bedspace on the other side of the county. 



Settling in


Raya found it a bit difficult to move into a new area. But we gave her a starter kit with essentials like pots, pans, and bedding to help her settle in. During her stay at Crashpad, our homelessness advisor regularly checked in with Raya, letting her talk through any frustrations or concerns she had. Most importantly, Raya was somewhere safe.  

At Christmas, Raya was given a gift pack, generously donated by our corporate partners. A fluffy hot water bottle, a selection box of chocolates, a set of toiletries. They might sound like modest gifts, the sort of thing we might pop in a stocking, or exchange in a secret Santa.  But the kind of experiences Raya has gone through can be isolating, and it’s easy to feel as though the world has forgotten you. Gifts like these are more than just a welcome treat but an acknowledgement that people have not forgotten about you and they do care.



A stroke of good fortune

Three weeks into her stay at Crashpad, Raya received some welcome news, a bedspace had opened up in her preferred area. We supported Raya through her move and put in place actions for Raya to be considered for a more long term bed space.




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