About 10 years ago problems started for me in Aldershot, where I’m from. Things just weren’t working out, so I packed a bag, and hopped on a train to London.
I arrived at Waterloo with just my bag. I saw people begging, so I just thought, “I’ll do that too”.
I found a place where I could sleep by the station. This little cubby hole where I could get my head down.
I was sleeping rough for about a year, year and a half. Occasionally went to a couple of hostels, like St Martin’s and Hopkinson’s House. My first interaction with St Mungo’s was being introduced to them by Passage House, a hostel who was looking to move me on.
This would have been about seven or eight years ago. It was all still very hard, until I got put into a hostel project. Everything’s easier in a hostel.
This was about three years ago, I’m not exactly sure when, I’m not good with dates.
My impression of St Mungo’s is great. I like the charity. They’ve got the best hostels of all the ones I’ve been to. I like that it’s busy, they’ve got things to get involved in so you’re not bored – which also helps you make a lot of friends too. I know basically everyone here.
I’d definitely recommend St Mungo’s. If I met someone else who was in my situation from a few years ago, I’d tell them “get in touch – you’ll love it.”
Summing up how St Mungo’s have helped – it’s been a real lot. There’s always some different type of help on offer.
Like, here you get a keyworker, but you can really speak to any of the staff. You’re not dependent on one person for support, you can get it from everyone. I don’t have to worry if my keyworker isn’t in, I can speak to anyone.
The whole experience has definitely built my confidence, and made me more optimistic.
I’m going to miss this place when I finally do go. It’ll be scary to leave, but it’s an important step. I’m very nervous, and frightened, but at the end of the day I’ve got even more good support to help me through it.
I could never have done what I’ve done in years gone by. It would have all just been a case of “computer overload”.
So what’s my future? Well, I’m not sure. But I’ve got more of a direction now than I used to have. Now I can see that there might be a chance for me to get on. What I’ve learned in here I can use.