skip to main content

Kirsty & Faye's Story

Kirsty & Faye's Story

Kirsty became pregnant at 19, she was living in her family home sharing a bedroom with her two sisters. Her living circumstances were overwhelming - she was facing a mental health condition that was inducing stress in the overcrowded house and quickly realised that she was going to need more space to provide for her little girl. Kirsty made the choice to approach the Housing Executive for help with her situation. They accepted her as homeless, and she was offered a place in our Conway Court Family Hostel.

Never setting foot in a hostel before, Kristy was greeted by friendly staff, shown around her flat and left to settle in. Concerned with what others would think of this change, Kirsty’s insecurities came forth as she began to process her new reality.

Kirsty expressed “In my mind, there was always a stigma associated with hostels and I felt that other people would think less of me as a young, pregnant female if they found out that I was moving into one.”

Her first few days living in Conway Court were described as lonely. She had never lived separately from her family or on her own before and the hostel was in a different area that she was unfamiliar with. Kirsty found herself facing the daunting responsibilities of living on your own - budgeting, managing her mental illness and the building anticipation of becoming a mother. While being in the hostel seemed like a home at times, it is always in the back of Kirsty’s mind that her living situation is temporary.

Kirsty explained “I was only 19 and pregnant and had never lived away from the family home before. It was the biggest change that I had ever experienced.”

As her due date approached Kirsty and her support worker would chat about how she was going to get through the birth and labour that she was about to face. With Kirsty’s mental health issues and anxieties of the birth she was also provided the support of a weekly peri-natal mental health team.

“Just knowing that staff are there and that I can ask for help at any time, is really reassuring.” Kirsty noted.

After a few short months of getting on her feet, adjusting into her flat and establishing a support system that worked for her, Kirsty welcomed her daughter Faye into the world.

Heading back to Conway Court after giving birth she quickly became known as ‘the one with the newborn’ among the other mums in the hostel. Kirsty not only had staff and her support worker - but she also had the company of 23 other mums in the family hostel who were always checking in on her and offering advice and support.

Kirsty said, “having all these people around me and someone to talk to at any time made me feel as though I was part of a little community.”

While Kirsty settled into motherhood she was also settling into her independence. She worked with her support team to apply for the correct benefits and increase her housing points. In her 11 months at Conway Court, Kirsty gained confidence, adapted to life with Faye and has set goals for her future. Kirsty has since decided to continue her education as she has the desire to become a teacher of art therapy and is aiming to begin courses this autumn.

While her main priority is and always will be little Faye, Kirsty has achieved great feats in the last couple of years, gaining control over her life and learning to be the best version of herself.

Kirsty closed with “I’m honestly really thankful to the staff in Conway Court hostel for the support that they have given me. They’ve made me feel safe and secure and completely changed my perception of what a hostel is.”

Simon Community is more than just a safe bed, it is a place for individuals just like Kirsty to grow while receiving the specialist support they need. To continue to help us be there for people like Kirsty donate today.