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Darcie came to YMCA MK 3 years ago after experiencing significant trauma in her childhood.

Darcie grew up in and out of foster care and came from an abusive family background. Family breakdown, mental health issues and drug addiction lead to Darcie becoming homeless, and she experienced street homelessness and sofa-surfing for several years prior to her arrival at YMCA MK. During this time Darcie was in an abusive relationship and a violent incident lead to her losing a baby in the late stages of pregnancy. Her mental health and substance abuse meant that Darcie needed additional support to maintain secure housing and she was recommended to come to YMCA MK by the police who recognised that we could offer that extra support.

When she arrived at YMCA MK Darcie was at rock bottom. In her own words, ‘I was on meds for 15 years, it was a constant cycle, trying to hurt myself, trying to kill myself, going to A&E, I wanted to break that cycle’.

With support from her Supported Housing Coach and Personal Development Coach Darcie has gone through all 3 stages of the accommodation pathway and now lives in an independent flat. She takes part in activities and is engaging with her employment coach, working on her CV and discussing her route into employment.

Darcie has made amazing progress since coming to YMCA MK and is unrecognisable from the person she was when she arrived. She has come off her medication and no longer drinks to excess or takes drugs. She acts as a mentor to other, younger residents here, trying to support them work through some of the issues that she has been though herself. When she first arrived she didn’t come out of her room and didn’t have any friends – she now has friends, a support network and staff that she has built a strong rapport with. She refers to Emma, her support worker as ‘her little gem, who always makes time for her’. She said that all staff notice changes in her daily mood and look out for her, from Sonya on reception to Clare in the café, she felt safe and supported by her YMCA MK family.

‘The YM has done a lot of things for me, it has helped me work on myself, improve myself. I am grateful for what I have now, I’ve never had my own room, my own space, I feel very lucky. I had bad days at the start but it’s good times in here now.’

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