Tom's story

TomFINAL

I found myself homeless over a period of six weeks, one minute I had a relationship, a nice house, and a good job. Then, following a long period of sickness due to me suffering with depression, I lost my job and my relationship broke down.

I had some savings, and what I did have meant I led a good life for a few months, but then the money ran out and I found myself sofa surfing at friends’ houses. That soon wore out and before I knew it I was on the streets of Rochester sleeping rough. People in the town were not friendly so I decided to travel to London to look for my brother.

 I went to a place called St Martin-in-the-fields, but I could only stay with them four nights a month, so I learnt the routine through other homeless people. I would get a bit of cardboard put that down and put my sleeping bag on top. I eventually found my own space outside the book shop just opposite Nelsons column. I was there for about six to eight months before another homeless charity called No Second Night Out offered to help me. I was there for six weeks whilst they made various referrals for me with no success. Then one day Emmaus Colchester contacted me and I ended up staying at the community in Colchester for two years. I was keen to move further away from London so I contacted Emmaus Cambridge about a place in their community.

I have now been here four months and I am really enjoying it I have fitted in great here, and everything has just fallen in to place. I work hard and have very diverse duties; from working in the Coffee Shop and on the shop counter, to working in the warehouse unloading and loading up the vans for deliveries.

Although I became homeless in matter of only six weeks, my journey out of homeless has taken over two years. Emmaus has changed my outlook, I was lazy in the past and Emmaus has helped me to become more helpful. It’s opened my eyes to other homeless people out there and you can see that they aren’t all alcoholics or drug addicts like all of us, we all have problems and need help.  I now feel like I am here to play my part in helping them too, in the same way that Emmaus helped me.