Skip to main content

Andrea's story

”Where I have got myself out of homelessness, I want to help people that aren’t able to do that; to give them the support I never had.''

“The first year I volunteered with Crisis at Christmas, I let slip my birthday is on Boxing Day. The evening shift team handmade a card, and all the volunteers sung Happy Birthday. I felt loved and appreciated. Since then, I’ve never missed a year with Crisis. They’ve always encouraged me to go further: I’m now a senior volunteer, running shifts.”


Andrea, 35, has gained a degree in early childhood studies. She is also a Crisis peer researcher of systemic racism and homelessness, and a community advocate and organiser for causes including renters’ rights and anti-racism.

“I’ve stopped three evictions with Wandsworth Renters group. I’m a steward at a lot of marches, especially for the NHS – my grandma and mum came here to be nurses with the Windrush generation.”


Andrea has spent years fighting for a future for her and her daughter, who was born soon after Andrea’s mother got cancer.

“My dad died when I was four, so she was the main person in my life. I saw her on the operation bed, and it frightened me. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety -- my doctor wrote to the council and said, please don’t evict her, she’s trying to sort her life out. I was 18, I’d just had my daughter; I had to look after my sister, and it was just too much. That led onto me drinking and it spiralling out of control.''

“I was put in a hotel East Grinstead and expected to take my child to Battersea every day for school. It was literally one bedroom. There was no room for her to play; no parks nearby. It was either move her around with me or put her with my mum to get the stability she needed. But she was impacted: she didn’t have me. It was a nightmare that felt never-ending.”


Andrea had experienced domestic violence and rape.

“Eventually I got CBT therapy and I went to AA. That really helped. I was gradually doing things to improve my life and wanted to do that for others. I volunteered in children’s mental health. Then I worked for a local homelessness charity.”

“The most important thing now is to be present in my daughter’s life, I hope she achieves everything she wants – to act and go to America. If anyone deserves it, it’s her: she’s just amazing.”

By sharing stories we can change attitudes and build a movement for permanent, positive change. Stand against homelessness and help us end it for good.