Pathway Homes
Tenant Case Study

Helen Mulrooney

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In early 2020, Helen Mulrooney was introduced to homelessness support services in her hometown of Preston, having sofa surfed with friends for several months following financial issues as a result of being made redundant from her job. We recently sat down with Helen to discuss her past experiences of homelessness and the positive life she is now living as a result of stable housing and accommodation, and with the right support in place.

Helen was aged fifteen when she first experienced homelessness. Her childhood had been a traumatic one, regularly suffering domestic abuse at the hands of her father within their home setting. Helen recalled: “To everybody else, my dad was the life of the party. He was such good fun and the perfect person to be around socially, but nobody knew the other side of his personality. The side he kept private for Mum and me. You’d think this may be difficult for me to discuss, but it isn’t – it happened so much during my childhood and teenage years that I just assumed everybody suffered violence at home. That is probably the saddest part about it all, how normal it was for me”.

Eventually, Helen decided to leave when she was aged fifteen. Her mother had sadly passed away when Helen was thirteen years old, and the grief had united her and her father for a short while. However, it wasn’t long until the violence started again. Within a few years, Helen had managed to escape her abusive home life and hometown, relocating to Blackpool. She continued: “I didn’t know anybody in Blackpool, but I thought I may find hospitality work along the beachfront or on the piers. I was terrified but knew I was doing the right thing”.

Though Helen was initially sleeping rough on the streets, she soon managed to secure a job and with the support of a colleague, she was able to start renting a property in Blackpool. She stated: “That was probably one of the happiest times of my life, it was my first taste of freedom and independence. I had a place to call home and a support network of friends around me”.

“I just assumed everybody suffered violence at home. That is probably the saddest part about it all, how normal it was for me”

Helen’s father passed away when she was twenty-one, months after they had reconnected and resolved their past issues. Helen recalls that this was important to her and despite all of the abusive childhood experiences, she was pleased they had reconciled before his death.

Helen returned to Preston after her father’s death and continued to work within the hospitality sector. She reconnected with old friends and also established new relationships.

At the start of last year, Helen had been made redundant and faced ongoing financial issues as a result. This left her in an extremely vulnerable situation. Thankfully, she had good friends to support her, which meant she did not have to sleep rough on the streets like she had as a teenager. In the days and weeks after being made homeless, Helen sofa surfed with various friends. During this period, she was put in touch with homeless support services and began her tenancy in a property that had been developed by Pathway Homes Group (PHG).

Helen has stated: “My life has changed for the better in the last twelve months. Though I may not have been able to return to work in the hospitality sector due to Covid-19 and the restrictions that were imposed, I am living in a lovely home and have access to all of the support I require”.

She continued: “I have recently secured a job and I am really looking forward to finding my feet once again and eventually moving into a property myself with a permanent tenancy”.

As Helen’s story has shown, homeless housing and support services remain essential in society. People around the country require the support and guidance to live independently and build a future for themselves. PHG is proud to play a pivotal role in providing high-quality housing and accommodation that allows individuals and families to start again and live better.