Real life stories of homeless people
People can become homeless for many reasons. Our thanks to those of our clients who have shared their experiences with us, and talked about their hopes for their recovery and the future.
In 2011 our Oral History project Street Stories gathered the stories of 41 residents. Listen to some of their stories and watch a short video by clients who conducted the oral history interviews (please be aware - some of the interviews contain strong language).
You can also some of our clients and staff talking about our work.
Malcolm did not have an easy start in life. His mother was an alcoholic and although at the age of 11, he left home and moved in with his father, things did not get any easier...
Maxine, 44, is from London: "It's very hard for a woman to ask for support. To say to a keyworker or probation officer, I've got a drug problem, can you help me? They think, if I share my truth, they are going to come and take my kids off me. So a lot of women don't say. They're scared."
Shawn is an apprentice project worker at St Mungo’s. He started his apprenticeship in October 2012
Michael had worked in television for many years when a sudden change in his personal circumstances, and ill health, led him to becoming homeless. He is now happier and enjoying his time at St Mungo's.
Leroy was two and a half when he was taken into care. “My mum was 17 when she had me but there was domestic violence, she was in a bad relationship so I was taken from her and moved in with foster parents.”
"Worry over the job had affected my health as well. They say you're only one wage slip away from homelessness and it's true."
"The actual falling apart was about two weeks. I went from having a job and living with my partner to sleeping in a van, not eating, not sleeping, drinking about four bottles of wine a day. I couldn't face anyone. I felt I'd let everyone down."
Noel became a St Mungo's resident in February 2011. Prior to this he had experienced periods of homelessness in London. He was left with a brain injury following a suicide attempt, and then struggled to find stability in his life. He is now involved in St Mungo's Endell Street Recording Studio, where he has written and performed tracks for a CD.
Carole found herself homeless following the breakdown of her marriage. After getting involved with the wrong crowd in a hostel, she spent time in prison, but returned to a St Mungo’s project, where she turned her life around by learning IT skills.
George was a self employed roofer, until 2011 when work dried up and he ended up losing his home. He was referred into the 17-bed Sanctuary shelter in Hitchin, managed by St Mungo’s and the North Herts Sanctuary Trust, and is now seeking full time employment to get his life back on track.