Home and Safe This Christmas

“Safe and loved. I just felt accepted, wanted. Things I hadn’t felt for a while. The biggest thing is that I just felt safe.”

Allana first came to Bethany some years ago, in need of a home and safety.

I grew up in a dysfunctional family, my mum was an alcoholic and there was lots of violence at home. I suppose you’re just in that cycle. Drink, drugs, children’s homes, foster care. It was hell. I would have done anything to get the drugs. It was a way of escaping all the pain I felt.

At 25 I became homeless. At that point my life was out of control, I wasn’t ready for help. For me, I wasn’t on the streets. I was in people’s houses on the sofa. You feel like you shouldn’t be there, always putting people out. Although I wasn’t living on the streets, I was wandering the streets. You’re cold. You’re lonely. It’s despair, isn’t it? Being a woman as well, you could be quite frightened.

At Christmas it feels even more empty. You see everybody having fun and you just really want it to be over. You wake up and it’s heightened that you’re not with your family, that you’re alone.  

A resident at Bethany Christian Centre asked Allana if she’d heard of Bethany House.

I came for an interview and got a bed. It’s a big difference, you could go into your room and shut your door. It’s your own little space. Bethany House gets you to a place where you can get the help. The staff genuinely care. They go out of their way to help you and make sure you feel loved. When my life went off the rails again, I knew to come back.

Since then, Allana has been supported through rehab, has a stable home and supports people struggling with homelessness and addiction. She now volunteers full time at Bethany House and is looking forward to this Christmas:

It’s good to be giving back. To serve Christmas dinner to these guys and just show them that they are loved. They may be facing homelessness but they’re not alone. It’s just trying to give hope back to people, isn’t it? Explaining there’s a way out of this.

There are many people like Allana needing a safe home right now. Will you help people get home & safe for Christmas by donating today?