Before we almost became homeless, my partner and I owned a multimillion-pound business. We lived with our young children in a rental property worth £1.5 million and had a comfortable life.

Covid, Brexit and the cost of living crisis compounded to cause big problems for us, and so we went into administration, losing millions of pound of equity that we had in the company. Suddenly, we had over £3,000 in rent and bills to find each month with no way of paying it.

The council told us if we left the house, we’d be making ourselves voluntarily homeless so there would be very little they could do to help us. We didn’t want to sit in the property racking up more and more debt, but we were stuck.

Thankfully, the team at HOMELINK helped us navigate the housing system and find a way out. Following their advice we found a small flat on the outskirts of town through a private landlord and applied for a grant from the council which covered the first month’s rent.

When we moved in, we had absolutely nothing. We were living off benefits and couldn’t even afford a cupboard for our children’s clothes. HOMELINK provided us with funds to buy essential items and even gave us food vouchers at a time when we were extremely desperate. It was very difficult to ask for help, but I found the support from HOMELINK to be compassionate and flexible.

HOMELINK not only gave me practical advice, but emotional support as well. After I lost everything my mental health was really affected. In those first few weeks, the validation I got from speaking to HOMELINK regularly helped me enormously and gave me the confidence to pick things up again and move forward.

As told to Nuala Calvi