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For many years, since 1984 when I first came to London, I was continuously homeless until 2010. I had been wandering about the country ever since leaving foster care.

In 2010, I had been to the hospital with hypothermia. I knew I wasn't going to last long if I continued to live on the street. Somehow, I found out about Glass Door and started sleeping in the shelters. 

A new beginning

eddie before and afterBack then, when this charity was still called West London Churches Homeless Concern, this charity helped me find direction. The staff and the volunteers would talk to me. They showed me kindness and compassion. For the first time in a long time, I felt grounded. I began to build back an identity. 

In the shelters, you can be in a safe, warm environment, away from the influences of drink and drugs. 

The staff then helped me find accommodation. I got a flat. For the first time I had somewhere to stay. I was no longer sleeping in the park. I was no longer sleeping on sofas or sleeping in doorways. 

Through the people I was meeting at the charity, they gave me an alternative direction. I got confidence and rebuilt my self-esteem.

You can lose hope, but at Glass Door you can find hope. You can address situations and secure your self worth. And you can find help to have a change.

Glass Door helped restore my faith in humanity. 

Role reversal

Now I volunteer at Glass Door year-round and work in winter on staff. I help cook and serve lunch year-round at the drop-in at Chelsea Methodist Church. And when the shelters are in operation, it's my job to make sure they remain safe overnight. I feel proud to be able to help others in the same way I was helped.

I don't dwell on the negative things in my past. I think you have to take the negative and flip it. You use the experience to let it empower you. 

Now I can use my experience to give others a sense of hope. We can all make a contribution, and together help to alleviate homelessness. 

To help others like Eddie get off the streets and leave homelessness behind, consider making a donation or fundraise for Glass Door. 

25 June 2018: See Eddie's Homeless Stories video on Facebook: