Success Stories

People may become homeless for a variety of reasons. Our thanks to the residents who have shared their experiences with us and talked about their hopes for the future.

John's Story


I joined Sapphire Independent Housing’s Recovery Service at Hackett House in December 2015 after going to detox and rehab for my drug addiction. I’d been addicted to drugs for about ten years and thought I had finally kicked the habit, but I relapsed in March 2016. Hackett House was a dry house and one of the policies of the Recovery Service was if you relapse you have to leave, as it can impact badly on other residents if you are allowed to stay.

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Bismark's Story


I was referred to the Camden Adult Pathway by the Camden and Islington Foundation Trust, after a long stay in hospital due to ill health. The Pathway referred me to Conway House and I moved into the service in December 2016.

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Paul's Story


I moved to Sapphire Independent Housing's Recovery Service at Brecknock Road after spending 20 weeks in a rehab programme in November 2015. I had found myself homeless earlier that year after I lost my job as a builder and my relationship had broken down, most of which was due to alcohol.

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Jodie's Story


I am originally from Halifax but I moved down to London when I was 21 years old. I started taking drugs when I was 19 and after a while I got in to a bit of trouble with some dealers. I came to London to get away from it and try and start a new life.

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Becki's Story


I came to Townsend House in August 2014, after my relationship with my mum had become too difficult for me to stay at home. I had recently become unemployed but I was actively seeking new employment, as it is important to me for my future.

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Ann-Marie's Story


I am currently a resident at Townsend House and took part in the recent life skills and budgeting course, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I found the course really interesting and felt it was really helpful in preparing me to move on from Townsend House.

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James' Story


I was born and raised in Glasgow. Both my parents were alcoholics and divorced when I was five years old. We then moved around from one place to another a lot over the next few years. As I got older  I started to rebel against my parents and was finally put into care when I was 12 years old.

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Clive's Story


I was born in County Down, Northern Ireland. I was adopted at the age of 3 and moved with my new family to Larne, County Antrim. I was a nervous child and was picked on because of my glasses but I was happy in school and I enjoyed our family life.

Problems started in the family when I was about 8, my father had started to see someone else and there were a lot of arguments. My parents got divorced when I was 10 and my father got custody of the children, which I found difficult as I was closer to my mother.

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Salah's Story


I am originally from Eritrea, but I spent a large part of my childhood in Sudan. I moved there with my family when I was 8 years old because of the civil war in Eritrea, but it wasn’t a good life. As I was a foreign citizen I wasn’t provided with an education, so I had to work long hours in the hot sun doing any menial labour work I could find. By the time I turned 15 the civil war in Eritrea had ended and my family wanted to return but I decided to come to the UK to study.

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Jordan's Story


I grew up in foster care in Medway Kent. You’re supposed to stay in care until you’re 18 years old but at 17 I’d had enough of moving from one home to the next and decided to do my own thing, so I ran away.

I was living in different hostels and with mates for most of the time but as I was still deemed a minor I managed to get my own place when I was 18 years old. I wasn’t there long as I was used to moving on, so when my dad got in touch over Facebook I decided it was time I met him and off I went to Birmingham. It didn’t really work out though so it was time to up and run again. I’d got used to this way of life, just leaving when things got a bit tricky or I found myself in trouble so it didn’t really bother me at the time.

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Hanan's Story


I moved to the UK from Eritrea in East Africa just over a year ago as an Asylum seeker. When I first arrived I felt very afraid, I was on my own and I couldn’t speak any English at all.

I grew up in Keren where I was studying at college and I was doing well, so I missed my family and friends a lot. I had heard of England but I didn’t really know anything about it, I didn’t know that London was the capital and I certainly didn’t think I would end up living here.

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Barry's Story


I moved to London from Cork for my work many years ago. I am a chef by trade and have worked in a lot of restaurants and brassieres over the years. You work long and unsociable hours as a chef so when I got time off I liked to enjoy it and, I suppose if I’m honest, over time I became a bit of a binge drinker.

About 4 years ago I had to stop work because I became ill. The doctors didn’t know what was wrong with me, I was having a lot of tests done and suddenly I had a lot of spare time on my hands. It turns out I had a brain tumour, which I had removed 2 years ago. But during this time I got used to spending my new found free time drinking.

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Abdiwali's Story


I moved to London from Mogadishu was I was 15 years old. My family wanted to get away from the fighting there and find a better life but they couldn’t afford for everyone to come to London so I came alone.

I moved in with my Aunt and Uncle in Sudbury, there wasn’t enough room for me so I had to sleep on the floor. I was going to school at this time and my Head Teacher asked me about my home life. The social services were contacted and they tried to put me into care but I didn’t want to go.

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Michael's Story


I was born in Ireland the youngest of eleven children. My childhood was quite violent and I wasn’t very happy at school, as a result of this I became quite inward and isolated. I moved to London to get away whilst I was still young and started working in catering and hospitality.

The hours were long, sometimes working up to 70 hours a week, but the social side was good and over time I began to drink heavily. I continued this way for 26 years until one day it finally caught up with me.

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Nathan's Story


My alcohol misuse started while I was living with my partner and two teenage sons, and working as a head chef manager in a restaurant. My job was pretty stressful so I started to drink alcohol to cope.

There was a gradual build-up to the stage where I was drinking seven days a week. I had easy access to alcohol at work and would find excuses to go in on my days off. I also started hiding alcohol around the house - I even dug a hole in the garden to hide the bottles.

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Margaret's Story


I was born in Co Mayo, Ireland and emigrated to London in 1962 for employment opportunities. During my life in London, I worked in a variety of jobs from a hospital assistant to an administrator for American Express.

Later, I was employed part-time by Age Concern for nine years and I loved every minute of my time there. I got great personal satisfaction from assisting elderly people and listening to their life stories.

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Marion's Story


While working in London in childcare and studying a psychology course, I met a man through my local church. It was not a happy relationship because I was being sexually exploited by him. He isolated me from my friends and made me feel so low until finally, I plucked up the courage to pursue legal charges against him.

I received counselling sessions and was supported by a Women’s Aid worker who was great but the pressure was having an adverse impact on my health, so I dropped the charges.

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Gordon's Story


I grew up in the Hampstead area and started drinking alcohol around the age of 16. It’s what you do at that age and coming from an Irish background, it is social to meet up in pubs.

Eight years later things were getting out of control as I was arrested for drink-driving and I sadly missed the birth of my daughter. By this stage I was doing the odd bit of work so I spent the majority of my time in the pub from 9am.

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Andrew's Story


My name is Andrew Pochin and this is my story.

It started in March 2005 when I had to leave work to look after my mother who has Alzheimer’s.  I looked after her for two years when I had no choice but in her own interests, she had to go into a nursing home.

By January 2007 I had to leave the property due to the fact that my mother had not been paying the rent and I went down a horrible road of drugs, drinking heavily and having unprotected sex with men and women.  I then become homeless as a result and I was losing friends left, right and centre.

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