Thank you for walking alongside Alex*
This year’s Walk a Mile in My Boots Challenge welcomed participants from all across the world – walking as far away as Poland and Latvia. But for many people, the cause is much closer to home.
Alex* signed up because she experienced homelessness throughout her childhood and much of her adult life.
Please note: Alex's story contains descriptions of violence and abuse which could be triggering for some readers.
Alex told us:
“When I was homeless, I felt in physical danger all the time.
After being homeless as a kid, it was actually fear of going back into that state that made me stay in a dangerous situation for longer than I should have.
Somebody came along and offered me an out. When he said I could live with him, that I would be safe and he would take care of me, I believed him. And he turned out to be extremely dangerous… He tried to kill me. And then kept trying.
By the time I left him and became homeless once again, I was already in a state of severe PTSD. And then I experienced crime while homeless. I was attacked and assaulted more than once…
Being homeless was this constant feeling of no safety ever.
Now for the first time, I have stable housing. It's phenomenal.
So much had changed in my view of the world and of myself that I didn't notice until I had stability. All of a sudden, I was safe. I wasn't having to fight to eat, or to fight off people.
I came to see that good deeds did matter and I could appreciate them because I wasn't having to worry about survival.”
People with stories like Alex walk through Hutt St Centre’s door every day. And it’s thanks to your support through Walk a Mile in My Boots that we can help them on their journey out of homelessness.
Alex said she was inspired to take on the challenge because of what she and her siblings lived through.
“Homelessness is happening, right here,” she said.
“And the fact that there are people who can see it, who aren't scared off by it, and who want to do something about it – that restores a lot of the faith I lost in humanity when I was homeless.”
“It makes such a huge difference when you have access to food, clean water, and a shower. It’s invaluable. So thank you.”
* Out of respect for the person who has kindly shared their experience of homelessness, this name has been changed to protect their privacy. Thank you for understanding.
If this story has affected you and you need someone to talk to, please reach out to: