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Nathan's story

"I was working in a pallet factory but I can't drive and there’s no public transport to the factory, so the people I was working for used to come and drive myself and some others to work everyday.

Then one day my housing association said I had to move to another area, and the people I was employed with said they couldn’t come and pick me up from that far away, so basically I couldn’t get to work anymore.

When I told the job centre they said that it was classed as voluntarily leaving my job, which meant that when I applied for the universal credit they sanctioned me for a whole year as punishment.

They know my situation. I don't have mental issues, I don’t have any children, so as far as they’re concerned I can fend for myself.

Eighteen months ago I was working, living with my mum. But I don’t have any support networks anymore. So this is why I’m sat here. They’ve got tough sanctions now, when they changed government you know, the benefits systems got a lot tougher.

I have been sofa-surfing before, but this is the first time I’ve been living on the streets. I literally live under a bridge. Just me. I’m an inch and a half away from getting wet when it rains but apart from that it’s comfortable, it’s alright.

The way I see it, it’s not going to get any worse. That’s the way I look at it when I get up in the morning."

Nathan, Milton Keynes

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