Case study: Nicole’s story

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Nicole* came to Horton Housing with her four children after an episode of domestic violence left her homeless.
She sought help from her GP who called the police for support. The family spent one night in a hostel before being referred by Bradford Council to Horton Housing.
Originally from Central Africa, Nicole had been living in Europe and had come to the UK as an EU citizen.
As such, Nicole had the right to work but her inability to speak English held her back from getting a job. Benefits for the family were being paid directly to her husband. She had no money to pay the rent or even get the bus.
Horton Housing helped Nicole to find school places for the children, enroll at college to learn English, and access benefits. They helped the house-proud mum to find a nice home for her family and get employment as a cleaner.
“After everything I’ve been through, I am a hard woman, psychologically and physically,” she said.
Cleaning is a way of paying the bills, but Nicole has bigger ambitions.
“I am an intelligent woman,” she said. “I want to work full-time and I want to go to University. I would like to be a support worker.”
“They treat people good at Horton. They don’t look at where you come from, and they do whatever they can to make your life better. They want to see people smile.”
*not her real name