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Aspen* is 29 and is from the Czech Republic. They were living in a squat in Tooting which was unsafe and having a negative impact on their mental health when they found out about Glass Door.  

*Aspen’s name has been changed and a representative photo used to protect their identity. 

I’ve been in the UK for 6 years now; time flies so fast. When I was living in a squat in Tooting I needed a lot of help.

Glass Door caseworkers helped me fill out forms. I didn’t have settled status, and Boguslaw helped me get that. Then I was able to get Universal Credit and then PIP.”  

*‘PIP’ stands for Personal Independence Payment, which is for those with a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability. 

All Aspen had was a passport. They needed support to navigate the complicated bureaucracy of documentation and housing, such as making lots of phone calls and filling out forms 

The squat experience was challenging. I lost a job and my mental health was really bad.

"The first squat I stayed in was warmer than my home at the time, but then we were evicted and the next place we went to was much worse. It’s important for people to know about squats. You have to be really mentally strong. It gave me something, it made me a better person, but I wish I left sooner.  

A few squatters recommended Glass Door to me and they told me to go to Ace of Clubs."

I contacted Glass Door in June, and by September I had moved out of the squat into temporary accommodation.

"I started accessing counselling, working with a GP, and getting PIP. Alice helped me get temporary accommodation because I had to escape a really bad situation in the squat.” 

I wouldn’t be where I am now without Alice. 

Aspen is now in temporary accommodation and is accessing counselling, and they are working with Alice on moving into longer term accommodation in the future.