Jenni's story

Jenni in the shop

I was just sixteen when my mum died. Dad was finding it hard to cope and my sister had her own life by then, so I felt really alone. I suffered with depression and at times I would self-harm.

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As I grew older, I ended up in relationships that weren’t always good for me. Eventually, an ex-boyfriend threw me out, knowing I had nowhere to go. I slept rough for a night before I could get into a hostel, which I also found to be a really threatening environment. Nevertheless, I was terrified of leaving because my only option was to sleep on the streets again.

When I heard an Emmaus community had offered me a place, I literally screamed with excitement. Being here is turning my life around. I no longer feel lonely because I have the staff and companions looking out for me. I also love to work and make a contribution. If I have ideas for improving our charity shop, such as the way we display goods, people are willing to listen to my suggestions. I really feel like I’ve got something to give and that’s done wonders for my confidence.

I now realise that I’ve been wandering through life, lurching from one bad situation to another. I’ve tried to start over so many times, it’s been soul destroying. But at Emmaus, I feel like I now have a place in the world. I’m excited by what life holds for me.