Gary lived on the streets for many years whilst he struggled with his drug use. Whilst in hospital, he was put in touch with St Mungo’s, and now he’s living in a flat of his own – with his best friend, Lola.
I first came into contact with St Mungo’s whilst I was in hospital. The homelessness team there put me in touch with St Mungo’s, and they offered me a place in their Endell Street hostel.
I stayed there for three years, and I loved it, I didn’t want to move. The staff are brilliant. They’ve got a music studio, all the computer rooms and they’re dog friendly.
Then I got a place of my own, where I lived for another five years. Whilst I was there, I got Lola – I just needed someone with me. I hate being on my own. It can be really depressing. I’ve got no family, so that makes it even worse. With Lola, I’ve always got someone there.
But suddenly, the landlord wanted me out – he said he wanted to turn the place into more flats. But there wasn’t that much room. How he was going to do that, I don’t know!
St Mungo’s helped me move into temporary accommodation and eventually, got me into the flat I’m in now, where I can stay with Lola.
I’ve been here over a year now. I love it. Lola and I will go to the pub and she’s even got her own seat. We have a Sunday roast. The landlord doesn’t charge me full price. She gets two cumberland sausages.
I do struggle, don’t get me wrong. After living on the streets for so many years. Like bills, things like that, even getting the place clean and tidy, I forget. I’m 63 years old now. But I’m glad to have St Mungo’s behind me. My lead worker, Mia comes up every week to make sure things are tip top. On my birthday we’re going up to Brixton to get some proper traditional Carribean food – me, Mia and Lola.
It’s good to know that St Mungo’s will be supporting me as long as I’m here, and they’re only a phone call away.