I am a 47-year-old respectable, ordinary woman. I sold my home in Belfast at the height of the housing market boom. After taking advice from someone I thought to be financially astute, I invested most of the proceeds from the sale. This resulted in me being almost broke and homeless to boot. Consequently, I found myself moving into a hostel in Belfast. My story, in journal form, gives an insight into how this affected my life. I fell into depression, was prescribed anti-depressants, drank to excess on an almost daily basis, but eventually, slowly, began the fight to succeed. The three months spent inside the hostel are a total revelation; a culture shock to say the least, and I impart a bit of the life within, providing detailed accounts of horrors of which the outside world is unaware. I lived amongst a cross section of Belfast’s undesirables, learned how to survive, fight the system, and unexpectedly made a friend along the way. I confide in only a handful of people and do my damndest to hide it from the rest. I can accept help from no one on the outside, for fear of jeopardising my fight to be re-housed. My story is as accurate an account of life in a hostel as it is possible to be. Nothing is left out. My determination is fierce and I eventually do go home. It all occurred in 2009.
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