Reunited after 50 years apart

Isaura Abbas manages our housing project, The Lodge. She shares how people, like you helped reunite, John Harte, 86, with his family after 50 years apart.

"I first learnt about John when outreach workers found him sleeping rough. I went to meet him because we were concerned and felt The Lodge would be the best place for him. But after so many years of being on the streets he needed to feel reassured about going into accomodation.

So, once a week, we'd meet for a cup of tea. John shared with me that he was from Ireland and came to London in the 60s to work. He'd slept rough for more than 30 years.

Unfortunately, John was taken ill and admitted into hospital. I felt so sad. When I went to see him he was visibly older; lonelier and more isolated. 

John looked at me; he said "Please, get me out of here. Take me to The Lodge." He joined us in January 2012.

Sadly, nine months later he was diagnosed with lung cancer.

John asked us to help him get in touch with his family, so we published a note in a local paper in Ireland.

Amazingly, his sister called in tears on the phone. The family assumed John had died years ago." Unfortunately, she wasn't well enough herself to travel from Ireland to visit John, but his two brothers came to see him. His sister told me how their mother had died at 94 but continued to pray for him each night.

I could see in John's eyes that he was at peace. Having his family beside him meant so much to him.

Thanks to you, John's last years meant that he had the security and warmth of a place he called home. You helped John off the streets and reunited him with his family. That is how your support can change people's lives.

Thank you."