Having moved to Norfolk from Grenada as a child, Sherese, now 24, grew up on an army base in Dereham and describes her family as dysfunctional and abusive. Her relationship with her mother and step-father deteriorated and as a young teenager she spent more and more time away from the family home, which left her feeling adrift and lonely. She was depressed and self-harmed. With nowhere to sleep at night, she rode night buses in London and went out partying with the intent of finding some friends to crash with at the end of the night. Sherese says her options were limited and she tried for years to save a deposit to rent a house. After years of trying to save, she became desperate and got involved in the drugs trade, which ended with her getting caught and going to prison. Upon release Sherese was determined never to offend again. She was homeless when the first national lockdown happened. ‘Suddenly I mattered’, she said. Sherese was given a room and from then she has been supported by St Martins. She said, “I have the space to heal and grow thanks to St Martins.” Sherese urges people not to dismiss the effect one person can have on another said, “homelessness is something someone is going through. It’s not their ‘be all or end all’. A bit of kindness can be a massive help on their journey.”
See the videos below to listen to Sherese tell her story.