Henry was working in a warehouse when covid broke out. Everything was shut down due to the pandemic and his agency’s contract was ended. Suddenly he had no work. He fell behind with his rent and had to leave the room where he was lodging in August last year.
Becoming homeless during the pandemic
He had nowhere to go and ended up on the streets, sleeping on buses. The council said they could not pay for him to live anywhere because he wasn’t allowed to claim benefits although he had been living in the UK for 16 years and had worked and contributed to taxes.
“And then I became homeless. It took about four months, I got gradually more and more behind on my rent. My landlady was really anxious about the money I owed her and I had to leave.”
Arriving at Crisis at Christmas
He might still have been on the streets if he hadn’t been referred to one of the hotels Crisis was running last Christmas, where he stayed for two weeks.
“It really felt great to be in the hotel and have a good sleep and shower for the first time in six months. It felt nice to be in from the cold. I felt I could relax properly and focus on what I wanted to do next.”
Support from a Crisis case worker
While he was there, he started to receive support from a Crisis coach who helped him work through the depression that he had developed since he had been sleeping rough. He helped him to talk through the things that were going on so that he could get into a good state of mind and was able to relax more.
After Christmas, Crisis helped him get in touch with his local council who found him emergency accommodation in another hotel, and he has now found a job too. Henry speaks to his Crisis coach regularly.
“My Crisis coach has been offering me really good support. Now that I do not feel so depressed, I could apply for work. I have found a job in care work. I’m not working every day but it means I have enough to buy something to eat while I am waiting for the council to find me somewhere more suitable to live. I can look forward to the future now, thanks to Crisis.”
Find out more about our Crisis at Christmas campaign and how you can help to change someone's life this year.
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.