How old laptops can change lives…

Laptops for homeless people support initiative ( case study from NHYC )

An Anonymised Case study update by Janet ( April 2019 )

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SB is a British born Bangladeshi young woman 17 years of age she presented at NHYC in November 2017 she was fleeing honour based violence and was under threat from relatives to marry a man she had never met, she fled with very little and was isolated and vulnerable.

SB slept rough for two and a half weeks travelling on buses and sofa surfing before being told to approach NHYC. She presented as dishevelled and non-responsive in her actions, and did not trust adults, and had issues around adult men.

SB was referred to our in house counsellor for crisis support as she was complaining of flashbacks and insomnia, she was also referred to our in house nurse for a health check.

SB is a minor under statutory law and was referred back to her local authority for housing this proved difficult as her family refused to say that they had chucked her out of the family home and were saying they wanted her to go back home.

The local authority was encouraging SB to return to the family home, for SB this was not an option as she felt threatened and unsure what her family would do if she returned to the family home.

NHYC contacted her local social services who housed her in temporary accommodation the following evening.

NHYC contacted Coram to secure an advocate for her so she could fight the case with the housing authority to not return to the family home.

SB attended NHYC daily and begun to open up to staff and revealed physical and emotional abuse form her father and brothers she was regularly beaten and was not allowed out on her own SB was chaperoned everywhere she went and had no say over her life or future, she was not allowed to access college or training as she was the one doing all the household chores and told regularly this would make her a “good wife” SB attended NHYC everyday over an eight month period she engaged well with staff and had positive friendships with other young people at the centre.

SB worked closely with the in-house education employment and training team to plan her future and talk about her dreams and aspirations, she had dreams of becoming a marine biologist SB enrolled on to a chemistry course as part of her career pathway to one day become a marine biologist she will go on to do biology/physics with a view to go to university in 2019.

Today SB has improved her future prospects and is living independently of her family, she has a small circle of friends and is still attending NHYC for self-defence classes and sporting activities and she still meets with our counsellor once a week, she still has a lot to do on her own but with the support of NHYC

I do believe one day she will become a marine biologist, it is very clear how a laptop would improve this young woman’s life and help her with university studies in September this year.

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