Why is the UK facing a homeless crisis and what can be done?
Why is the government closing down all the hostels? You get the odd few people on the street who you can trust, but things have changed over the years and generally I keep to myself. There are so many fights and arguments, more new faces every day, people waking you up in the night. Passersby mostly just want to get away from you. Everyone thinks living on the streets is easy. On one day, I was checked against the criminal register 10 times.
A lot of homeless people are drinkers, rude, abusive, and they tar everyone with the same brush. I sleep in a car park, but you always have one eye open.
At least 440 homeless people died in UK in past year, study shows
The other night a big homeless guy was threatening me — clenching his fist and asking for money. Then a woman came and stood with me for 20 minutes, until the guy left me alone. I was a chef for eight years, but my circumstances changed and I had to quickly move away from where I was. How wrong I was. The other people there were all men and they kept saying he smelled. I give him all the attention he deserves. It began when I was made redundant, which was the last straw in a series of problems that led to my homelessness.
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Three days later, my mum disappeared. I was alone in the flat, which was a council flat, paid for by housing benefits, and I just kept living there.
I kept going to school, and an old couple who were my immediate neighbours helped me with food and taught me to cook. When I was 12, I got a job in the fruit and veg shop on my road, and I always had a job somewhere from then on. I had to grow up very fast, because I was alone until the age of 16, when I met someone and she moved in. But when I was 22, all the things that had happened in my childhood started to catch up with me.
Deaths of homeless people in England and Wales - Office for National Statistics
I was in a major relationship, which ended, and I was made redundant from my job as operations manager in a mobile phone warehouse after the company went insolvent. I had to leave my flat, and when I went to the council I was told to expect a long wait for accommodation. Oxford was a terrible place to be homeless. The council and the police were very hard on us, getting rid of people. Then it was difficult to get through the day without people trying to rob or attack you; for a lot of homeless people, violence is the only response to any situation.
Before I came to Purfleet, I worked as — Read the full article…. We have a supported volunteering programme and access to specialist support services including mental health, drug and alcohol and employment services. I am a UK citizen of 53 years. I have owned my own houses, and never had any money worries.
Ken has been rough sleeping for several years and he was accessing the Pathways Centre on a regular basis. The Pathway Centre was a secure place for him to stay during the daytime where he could express his concerns and worries. If you would like to find out more about our work or hear more stories, please contact us.
Tim was supported by the Depaul UK service in Sheffield, and has since gone on to find permanent employment with Lidl. Tanya was supported by Depaul's service in Sheffield, who helped her out of debt and into her own flat. Read more about her story here.
Youth homelessness charity Depaul UK was there to help Frankie when she found herself homeless and alone. Ellie came to Depaul in Sheffield eight months pregnant with no place to call home, click below to read her story.
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