M’s story

E. Smith Service user stories

‘This is first time for 18 months that I’ve been able to sleep with both eyes shut.’

After his relationship broke down, ‘M’ slept rough for about eighteen months before coming in to the 999 Club. ‘I know why I ended up becoming homeless,’ he said, ‘but the problem was, I was trying to get out of being homeless but I just wasn’t having any success.’

Throughout those eighteen months M sought help and advice from various places, including the housing officers at the council, the Department for Work and Pensions, Citizens Advice Bureau and charities. But none of them could offer him a way out homelessness.

Someone he met sleeping rough on the streets suggested that he come in to the 999 Club in order to get some food, a shower and some fresh clothes. ‘I was taken aback by the warm and friendly nature of the staff team’ said M, ‘and they made me feel particularly welcome.’

M was assessed and given a place in the Night Shelter, ‘At last somewhere safe to sleep.’

While he was staying in the Night Shelter he did some volunteering with a partnership agency, and was pleased to be giving something back to the charities that were helping him.

Working with the 999 Club Advice and Support Manager he was put in contact with a private landlord who would accept him. He went to a view a bedsit, moved in, and began looking for work in the building industry, getting back to what he used to do before he became homeless.

‘I still can’t understand how the 999 Club was able to move me from rough sleeping into long term rented accommodation with 11 days of me entering the Night Shelter,’ said M, ‘and staff from the 999 Club even followed up with phone calls just to touch base and see how I was coping. A place of my own after eighteen months on the streets, means I feel safe at night.’