*Names have been changed to protect the individual
“I didn’t think I’d ever face homelessness, and I certainly didn’t think it would be my own family to bring me in this situation”.
These were Yasmin’s* first words when she went to the YMCA – one of Malta’s leading entities aimed at supporting people are risk of homelessness – for the first time.
Yasmin came from a good family, with a good educational background. She had a positive upbringing and financial support. That is, until she decided to come out and told her parents that she is gay.
Her parents promptly asked her to leave the house, even though she was still at school.
Travelling from one sofa to another and working a part-time job precluded her from earning enough to pay rent for an apartment.
She was not getting the support she needed and she was still afraid of facing a stigma related to sexuality and homelessness, so she did not seek help from a shelter.
Learning about YMCA from a friend, she decided to give them a try. The team there helped her find her strengths and achieve her full potential. They worked with her to help her achieve independence.
She accepted her sexuality, rebuilt her life and Yasmin is now independent, living the life she created and always deserved even when she had lost hope.
YMCA, was there for her when she hit rock bottom, and gave her the hope that she once had lost.
This is one of a series of human stories that the YMCA team have experienced in their almost 30 year old history of helping people struggling with homelessness. They pepper the study they recently published about homelessness in Malta with these stories, emphasising that these numbers are not only statistics but represent real human lives.
They also inspire hope in the people who need to hear these stories most.
“The report identifies poverty, unemployment, family conflicts, and domestic violence as some of the main reasons. These factors have worsened in recent years due to the pandemic-induced recession, with an increase in property prices, cost of living, and unemployment rates, as well as an increase in migration,” YMCA said.
Have you met anyone struggling with homelessness?