The following are some real stories of people who have been supported by our projects:
When I was younger, I had work as an AV engineer. I lived with my partner. She died and after that I got depressed and stopped caring about life. I started doing alcohol and cocaine, and got into arguments with customers about payment. I lost my job, and couldn’t keep up the rent payments, so I got evicted. Since I have been homeless, I have done shoplifting and got in trouble with the police quite a bit. I have been to prison several times. Recently I have had an operation and am in quite a lot of pain. I have to claim for ESA because I am not fit for work. Filling in the forms is really hard. I started going to the Homeless Project. They have really nice food and the people don’t judge you. They helped me with the forms. I asked my mum if I could move back with her, but she can’t cope with what I am doing any more. I sleep under a bush most nights, and the Street Angels know where I am and keep an eye on me. In the winter I go to the Night Shelter. I am hoping that the guys at the Homeless Project can help me find a flat.
I am sixty-three and I lost my husband a couple of years ago. I have no children of my own, and I married a man who already had children. When he died, I was living in the family home, but my step-children wanted to sell it for their inheritance. They had never liked me. One day they came into the home when I was out and changed the locks, so I couldn’t get back in. I am quite a private person and I didn’t know who to turn to. I ended up wandering round Windsor during the day and sleeping at the top of the multi-storey car park at night. Sometimes at night, the Street Angels would come and check on me, and see if I was all right. They told me about the Homeless Project, and I went along to see if they could help me. I had a nice hot meal and a cup of tea. Because of my age, they were able to get me into a local old people’s home, where I have been ever since. I am so grateful.
I was married for ten years. I had a house in Datchet and worked for a security firm. The relationship didn’t work out, and after that, I had a number of different partners. I joined the army and fought in the Falklands war. When I came out, it was hard to get used to normal life. I ended up homeless. Then I started drinking and everything went downhill. The drinking affected my health, and I had to have an operation recently for a stomach abscess. I must admit I didn’t eat properly. I was on my own and sometimes I just couldn’t be bothered. It was quite a lonely life. In the winter, it was really cold and when the Night Shelter opened, I stayed there. The other homeless guys told me about the Homeless Project, and I started going along regularly. The people there are very friendly and welcoming, and it was good company. It really helped me to have a healthy cooked meal. They took me to the council, helped me get housed in a flat, and then helped me get some furniture together and other things I needed. I am working as a kitchen porter now but don’t earn much, so I go along to Foodshare for the basics. It really helps.