Michael’s journey out of homelessness hasn’t always been straight forward, but just like us, he never gave up.
At the start of 2023 Michael was in a bad place, sleeping on a bench in Embankment in the freezing cold.
Now, he has a roof over my head and hope for the future. It wasn’t an easy path off the streets, and it’s one he’s still working on with us. The Connection have stuck with him every step of the way.
Michael’s journey off the streets
The first thing we did for Michael was offer him a cup of tea and a hot meal. That’s how it normally starts: small.
When you haven’t spoken to anyone in weeks, it takes a while to build confidence and trust.
Michael first came to London last year, looking for a fresh start and work. It didn’t quite go to plan. His mental health was spiraling and he would walk around Westminster, too scared and cold to sleep.
We meet Michael in Charing Cross station with no sleeping bag and shoes that were a size too small when The Connection’s outreach team found me.
From here, we helped Michael get back on his feet and find a flat and a job. But after being made redundant, he was back on the streets again.
At first, Michael tells us that we was nervous and embarrassed to go back to the centre when things didn’t work out. When you’re homeless, you get used to people looking down on you.
But he knew that The Connection would listen to what he needed, with no judgement.
We worked with Michael to help him realise what was keeping me in this cycle of rough sleeping. And when he was ready, we made a plan to break it.
To ensure permeant change in Michael’s life, we did more than find him a new home, we helped him change his mindset.
Now, Michael is thriving.
Michael took part in our annual fundraising walk. He tells us that its his proudest moment by miles.
Michael is also attending weekly counselling sessions at the centre and taking part in activities, like the writing group.
Having a creative outlet and someone who understands his issues is life changing. For the first time in five years, he’s writing songs again. People are enjoying them too!
But we see more people like Michael everyday
Michael knows what it feels like to be invisible.
He tells us that:
We’re here for people like Michael all year long and no matter how long it takes, we will always support Londoners on their journey home.
If you’d like to support this work, please click below.