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Jonathan’s Story

“I was teaching at a university, helping students in the engineering department when my relationship broke down just before the first lockdown. I’d been married for 23 years. I left and at the time, because I was still working I was able to stay in a B&B but when the outbreak began, that stuffed everything up.

"My job came to an end and I was put on furlough. I couldn’t afford to stay in the hotel anymore so I started sleeping in my car. The money I did get had to go on my car insurance and paying for fuel which took up a huge chunk. I was just living from one day to the next.

"I wasn’t eating properly, just snacking. Then once or twice a week, I’d have a proper meal. To wash, I’d travel to a service station to use the services there. I’d use facilities where I could, and then sometimes I would sit there for a couple of hours, just for some different scenery. It didn’t matter what time it was.

Family

"I was still in touch with my ex and my three kids and my ex was telling me how my children were feeling and how they could see that I needed help. It was very difficult. My daughter was back from university, my lad - he’s 15, and my youngest has special needs. I couldn’t take them out anywhere.

"I ended up living in my car for about six or seven months and that really affected my mental health. I got so low that I tried to take an overdose. My ex called the paramedics and they came – luckily I was okay, but that broke me. That was a wake-up call.

Finding a home

"Eventually the council put me in touch with Crisis and they set me a kind of challenge. They told me if I could find somewhere to live, they would help me get it sorted.
It was the Thursday that I saw Crisis for the first time and by the following Tuesday I had found somewhere online. Then it was all sorted by the end of the week.

"Crisis helped me with the deposit and the first month’s rent, as well as liaising with the landlord and bits that I needed for the house. They also helped with food vouchers, so I could get something to eat.

"Now that I’ve got a stable place to live, it’s given me a real boost. My kids have been round and I can watch TV with them. It’s a little thing but it means a lot. My kids are everything to me.

Looking to the future

"Now  I can start looking forward. I’m looking for jobs and have had some interest so far which is positive.

"If it wasn’t for Crisis, I wouldn’t be in the position I am now.”

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.