ReUnite works with mothers leaving prison who would otherwise be homeless. Caught in a 'Catch 22' situation, upon release from prison a woman is generally unable to get her children back from social care or family arrangements unless she has somewhere suitable to live. However, she is often not entitled to suitable housing, unless her children are living with her.
Tracey’s story is similar to many other women coming out of custody and facing homelessness with no hope for a positive future.
Tracey was referred to ReUnite on release from prison following a sentence for theft. In the years leading up to her prison sentence, Tracey had experienced long-term domestic abuse, increasingly problematic drug use and the removal of her child from her care. ReUnite supported Tracey to secure accommodation, remain drug-free and avoid re-offending. After some time, Tracey became pregnant with twins and though this should have been a happy time she was fearful for her future and the future of all of her children. ReUnite supported Tracey to find accommodation large enough to house the whole family and make an application to the family court to have her older child returned to her. Six months on Tracey and is settled and happy in her new home and hopeful that the whole family will be able together in a safe and secure home.
“It’s been very up and down. There has been a lot of change as I have had to move to a new area, away from family and friends and am now the mother of twin boys. I would probably still be homeless if it wasn’t for ReUnite. Having a home means everything – to have my own place, a roof over our head and somewhere warm and safe for me and my babies mean the world”.
This short film below documents a woman’s journey through our past ReUnite service which was delivered in partnership with Commonweal. The video was commissioned by Commonweal, as part of their 10 year anniversary to highlight the partnership work they do.
* Real names not used