A woman who was left homeless after her husband wasn’t allowed back in the UK has turned her life around and become a psychotherapist.

More than 40 other people slept outside in Woolwich earlier this month to try highlight the issues those who sleep on the streets have.

Olivia Djouadi was with them and though she did not sleep out with the rest of them due to her diabetes, she has certainly experienced more than her own fair share of sleeping on the streets.

Speaking to News Shopper, Olivia, from Grove Park, spoke of her time in the 90s when she was forced onto the streets right after finishing her masters because her husband wasn’t allowed back into the UK as he was not a British national.

She said: “He was from Algeria and the home office told him Algeria was safe when it was in the middle of a civil war.

“I had just finished a masters in British politics. I went back home to stay with my dad and he was in the realms of alcoholism.

“He said that I should leave so I suddenly became homeless. I had no idea what to do.

“I am also type one diabetic so the other homeless people warned me if I went to a homeless shelter my syringes would be stolen.

“When I slept rough in London one form of violence that scared us all was drunk people during the night who would set fire to sleeping bags. Yes, it was very rare but that doesn’t matter because one is enough to cause fear for everyone else.”

Olivia was able to get her life back on track once her husband was allowed back into the UK and they have now been married for 21 years.

She recently finished training as a psychotherapist specialising in trauma and works with the homeless charity WSUP and website beatmyaddictions.com to highlight the issues of homelessness in south east London.

She said: “According to Crisis rough sleepers die at an average age of 47 and a figure is not available on how many rough sleepers there are because they are not part of those counted.

“Any estimate will be far less than the truth; I know because when I was a rough sleeper in my 20’s no one counted me or fellow rough sleepers.

“The problem is when you are homeless and living on the streets as a rough sleeper, you suddenly aren’t noticed.”