Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

Tsigie’s story – International Women’s Day

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Tsigie’s story – International Women’s Day

7th March 2017
International Women’s Day takes place on March 8th each year, and is a global day which celebrates the social economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

At Caritas Anchor House, we offer a home and life-changing support to homeless people, and last year helped over 60 women (25% of our resident group) to rebuild their lives. Today, we’d like to share the story of one resident, Tsigie.

In 2014, Tsigie came to the UK as an asylum seeker, hoping to build a new life for herself after she had to leave her home in Ethiopia due to her political beliefs. After six months, Tsigie was granted leave to remain in the UK and had to leave the refugee accommodation where was staying, but had nowhere to go and no one to turn to for help.

Tsigie travelled to London and for four months was homeless, sleeping in churches and on sofas to get by. Understandably, this was a very distressing time for Tsigie, who said, “I felt like my life was over. It was unbelievable to me that I was in this situation – it was a very hard time in my life”. 

Tsigie approached the Refugee Council for help, who referred her to Caritas Anchor House, where she was accepted in September 2015.

Since coming to Caritas Anchor House, Tsigie has received personalised support and encouragement from her Lifestyle Architect, and completed training courses in customer service and personal leadership. We also supported Tsigie to access a course to develop her English language skills. Tsigie has a strong determination to succeed, and has gone on to secure two part-time jobs – as a receptionist at Caritas Anchor House, and as a Finance Officer for an organisation supporting refugees.

Tsigie says that her future looks brighter than ever before, and in December 2016, she moved into our newly built move-on flats, which are designed to aid the transition from homelessness to sustained, independent living. She would also like to move into her own home this year, and plans to train to become an accountant.

“Before I came to Caritas Anchor House, I thought I couldn’t achieve anything, but now they have given me the strength to succeed. Caritas Anchor House has given me the chance at a new life, and helped me to be me again.”

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