This is Richard. He had been coming to see us for about two and a half years but things are really looking up for him now. He’s just been offered a permanent job in Riverside women’s homeless hostel. He’ll be using his personal experience to help others in a similar situation to his. But he’s worked hard to get where he is today.

Richard became homeless when his marriage broke down. He’d been a stay-at-home dad for about eight years, caring for his two lovely children. When things started going downhill, he didn’t know where to go. For a while he tried to keep it from his children, sleeping rough opposite the flat he used to share with them. But this quickly become unmanageable, and he found himself on our doorstep.

I was living in a nice apartment, in a nice complex in a very nice part of town. When I slept rough I slept over the road from where I’d been staying. The principle reason that I was still going back during the day was strangely, to look after my children and take them to school. And then pick them up from school and do the washing and the cleaning. Which is a very bizarre arrangement and when things started breaking down I ended up in the Night Centre here… But for a while I was still going in and taking them to school. So my ex and I were avoiding each other and prioritising the children which was the main thing.

Thanks to your donations we were able to put Richard in our emergency Night Centre and support him into a hostel while he found more permanent accommodation. He’s currently living in our supported housing scheme, Building Prospects, but very soon he’ll be moving on to his own place.

What I don’t think a lot of people realise is that once you get to know the people using The Connection it’s an exact mirror of society, you’ve got people from all sections of society. People who’ve had families, people who’ve had good jobs. At the other end you have people who’ve been in prison and who’ve had abused childhoods so… Don’t think it can’t happen to you because it can and very easily. But here it doesn’t matter where you’ve been, where you’ve come from, you’ll be treated well and equally.

Richard has been gaining qualifications so he’s now able to stand on his own two feet again. He attended The Connection’s Build a Bike course and the European Computer Driving Licence which have put him in good stead for his latest job where he’s providing support to women who have experienced homelessness.

Without your donations, Richard wouldn’t have been able to receive this support – and to now be in a position to support others. Please donate to help more people like Richard. Thank you.

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