My partner sadly passed away in 2011. We were living together at the time and the memories in our house were too much, so I packed my stuff up and went to live on the streets.
I was rough sleeping for 10 years. It was very hard to begin with; I kind of got used to it after a while. When I first went on the streets it was winter. I was freezing. I used blankets and a sleeping bag to try and keep myself warm. Some people were nice and would give me clothing to help keep off the cold. The soup-run people would give out food too. I also visited day centres for food and to be inside for a bit.
For many years I lived in a doorway on Regent Street in London. I chose to be on a very busy street like that because there were always people about, and buses running past 24/7. I liked to be near people. It helped to stop me feeling too lonely.
After a while, my asthma got quite bad; I needed to get off the streets for my health. The staff at the day centre suggested I get in touch with Emmaus Greenwich. They had a spare room so I moved in.
It was a bit weird at first, having been on the streets for so long, but again, I got used to it.
I was at Emmaus Greenwich for six months. In 2019 I moved into Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire.
Whilst I was at Emmaus I’d help out with the Bulky Waste service which Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire run for the local councils. I enjoyed that because I liked going out on the van. I helped out with house clearances too.
After four years, I decided I was ready to move on. The team supported me to figure out my plan, and I moved back to the area where I grew up, living with my friend. It’s good to be back living independently and I’m planning on starting a job search soon. I’d like to work as a station porter or another outdoor-type job.
I’m feeling happy now, and things are looking promising.