Our privacy policy has changed.

View policy

Logo

Jimmy's story

11.12.2017 7433 XX

“I was only on spice for a couple of years. I never touched anything before then. I was doing really well. I was earning really good money as a chef. I did my NVQ level three and I was working at quite a famous restaurant as part of my second year apprenticeship but it became really stressful. I would start at six in the morning and not finish until 1am, six or seven days a week. It was really hard work and I just started hanging out with the wrong couple to get through it. I got addicted very quickly. I couldn’t do my work properly and lost my job, and then I ended up in jail for burglary to fund the habit.

When I was due to be released I had my appointment with the housing officer but that same day the whole jail was in lockdown and the officers wouldn’t let me out of the cell to attend it. I asked for another appointment but they didn’t have anymore available so when it came to leave I had nowhere to go. I went straight to the council and they put me in a hotel for a few weeks but after that they said they couldn’t help me anymore. It takes months to go through the housing system and I’m still on the waiting list for a hostel, but until a space becomes available I’ve had to go on the streets.

I grew up in Ayrshire, Scotland, but my mum brought the family down a few years ago now. I still speak with my mum regularly but we’ve had a difficult relationship since the Spice so I can’t go home. I haven’t spoken to my dad for thirteen years. He was a drunk, but I don’t really miss him. You can’t miss what you don’t know I guess.

I want to go back to university in Scotland and become a health and safety officer on the railways where my brother works. Being a chef is too hard. I have to finish my probation here in Plymouth though and that will take nearly a year so I’m stuck here until then.

I woke up this morning with seven policemen looking in my tent telling me I had to move on. That happens all the time. I always ask them where I’m supposed to go, but they never give me an answer.”

Jimmy, Plymouth.

By sharing stories we can change attitudes and build a movement for permanent, positive change. Stand against homelessness and help us end it for good.

 

Take action now

Clicking 'Take action now' will take you to a new form, where you can tell us why you’re in to end homelessness, and ask your politician to pledge their support for ending homelessness for good.

Related Stories


Alan's story

'I first started long distance walking after my wife Sarah died in a car crash. We’d been togethe...

View more

Tony's story

'I was living in Europe working in the music industry for fifteen years but I decided to train pr...

View more

Tracey's story

'My mum was a prostitute and both my parents were heroin users. My mum had me when she was sixtee...

View more