This year the winter has been so cold it killed. Temperatures have been below freezing in the UK endangering those without a home. Laila never thought she could have been considered homeless. She was born and raised in the UK. Growing up in an abusive family, she was forced to flee her parental home and live with her aunt. Due to her childhood, she was unable to fulfil her potential.
She left school with very little education. Her aunt was willing to take her in as long as Laila could provide for herself. Months passed and getting a job became an increasing struggle.
Laila eventually found herself a job that offered a 0 hours contract. Although it wasn’t stable, she had little choice as she was desperate for an income. She would now occasionally get enough shifts to pay her aunt back.
But there were times when Laila was unable to. This had started to cause issues in their relationship. Laila’s financial contribution was inconsistent and led to many arguments. Her aunt had decided that Laila could no longer stay with her and had taken all her money as a debt settlement for caring for her over the years. Laila was told she would have to leave.
It started to snow, she could feel the cold biting into her fingers and toes . Laila had never envisaged ever being homeless. She walked around the town and shopping centres looking for some refuge from the cold. She hid in the toilets and stayed there for as long as she could. She spent the nights looking for shelter and buildings to hide in. Laila didn’t know what to do.
Laila was referred on to the National Zakat Foundation by a local member of the community. She hadn’t heard of NZF and was unaware she could ask for Zakat.
When Laila came to NZF she had no money or assets and was in a dire situation. The National Zakat foundation was able to support her, immediately putting her in to the warmth of a hotel. Laila and is now being assessed for long term support.
(Source: https://www.nzf.org.uk/ )