Case study: Hannah’s story

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Hannah* came to Horton Housing just days before giving birth to her daughter.
Hannah had suffered domestic violence with her former partner. He had taken Hannah and her three children hostage and threatened to kill them before punching her six-year-old son in the face.
Her friend helped her escape the situation. He had been her first love and they subsequently got back together, planning to move to Grassington with the children. He was a great dad to her three children, the eldest of which has ADHD and learning difficulties. Sadly, at just 34, he died from a brain clot.
‘I never grieved properly because I didn’t want to see my kids upset,’ she said. ‘My eldest son was quite a handful back then. He didn’t sleep so we were up for 24 hours. I was in a bad state.’
Hannah became severely depressed and unable to cope. The children started missing school and in the end were taken into foster care. Her eldest son was placed in a children’s home.
She moved to Rochdale to live with her sister for a while. Then she moved in with a boyfriend but he threw her out when she told him she was pregnant. She couldn’t stay with her sister again so, heavily pregnant, she moved back to Bradford in December and declared herself homeless.
Hannah originally got help from our Bradford Homeless Partnership and then moved to one of our properties in Shipley where she accessed support through STAY at Home Bradford.
Her new-born baby was taken into care for the first four months.
‘I promised I was going to fight for her, and I did,’ she said.
Determined to get her children back, Hannah engaged with her support plan and worked with one of our support workers who helped her move into a bigger property.
She attended life coaching and got support for her mental health. She worked with the Freedom Programme to deal with the emotional impact of domestic abuse and recognise early warning signs in potential partners. She also got support to tackle her debts which had mounted up.
Things began to settle down and her children were allowed to visit. Her youngest and eldest children were returned to her, but her middle children were settled in their foster homes and stayed a bit longer. Her son is now attending college.
Hannah is hoping to have the whole family back together by the end of this year and is planning a trip to Disneyland to celebrate.
‘My support worker has given me a lot of support,’ she said. ‘Horton Housing helps people get their lives back. If I hadn’t come to Horton Housing, I might not have even tried to get my kids back.’
* Not her real name