“My problems started when my wife passed away – I gave up. It was a period where I couldn’t cope, and I’ve never really recovered properly. I got down and tried to take my own life a couple of times.”
Liam was enjoying life, had a job and was settled. Then sadly, his wife died. He struggled to cope with the grief and his mental health suffered. He couldn’t see a way out. Liam tried to take his own life.
After pulling through, things started to look up again. He was able to care for his mum when she started to suffer from dementia but tragically, he lost her too. After she died, he had just one week to clear her house and leave. He started sofa surfing but hated feeling like he was a burden. He ended up sleeping rough and was street homeless for three years.
Liam needed to get his life back on track so he moved to an Emmaus community. After spending two years rebuilding his life and getting the support he needed, he’s thinking about moving on and living independently.
“I just like the whole thing about Emmaus and I believe it’s the right way to go. But, I’m also thinking now, maybe I’m ready to move on. Working in the shop – I’d never worked in a shop in my life – has made me get stronger and helped me grow.
I think Emmaus is designed to do what it’s doing for me. It’s been great, given me confidence and now I have the chance to succeed on my own two feet.”
We are facing an unprecedented homelessness crisis due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. People with insecure jobs or zero hours contracts lost work very quickly at the start of lockdown and unemployment is expected to rise further when the furlough scheme finishes in October. Many people will fall into rent arrears due to lack of income.
In July, research revealed there were already 174,000 private tenants being threatened with eviction by their landlord or letting agent. Now that the eviction ban has been lifted, we are expecting a huge surge in homelessness
We need to face this situation head on and welcome as many people as possible into our communities. Emmaus provides security, stability and ongoing support for people who are rebuilding their lives but we can’t continue to do so without your support. Give today and help us provide a home to more people like Liam.