EnglishArabicChinese (Simplified)CzechFrenchGermanItalianPolishRomanianRussianSpanishSerbian

Frank, 69 years-old, has lived most of his adult life in the comfort of long-term, co-habiting relationships. Following a family argument, he became homeless. Andrew helped him turn his life around.

Becoming homeless

Like all of us, Frank wasn’t used to not having a place to stay and missed the comfort of a home. He never thought he’d become ‘one of those’ homeless people you see on the street. Following a family argument, he became homeless; friction and conflict were rife, and eventually he found himself living on the streets.

“I’m suddenly on the streets on my own. The people I was close to couldn’t help. I was hurt.”

He became a different person when he didn’t know where he was going to sleep at night. Basic survival instincts kicked in. He felt poor – not in the financial sense, but within himself. Lonely, he started to read about the experiences of other people experiencing homelessness.

All I could think was 'this is not me - not who I am'.

He went to his local council but they couldn’t help – he was still listed as living in the house he shared with his ex-wife. Frank tried to find a flat for himself, but it was ‘soul-destroying’ – they were all too expensive. One of the flats he viewed was over £1,000-per-month in rent, and it didn’t even have a toilet.

Meeting Andrew

A friend paid for him to be put up in a lodging for two nights which gave Frank the chance to collect his thoughts. His girlfriend recommended he get in touch with Glass Door – she said ‘they’d be able to help’. He visited one of our partner day centres in Chelsea and had a hot meal. He was linked with a Glass Door Caseworker, Andrew, who provided advice and support, and most crucially, time and a space to talk; one of the most traumatic aspects of homelessness is the loneliness.

“Andrew gave me the direction I needed to work on myself.”

Moving into Glass Door's hostel project

A room became available in Glass Door’s hostel project and Frank moved in. In the hostel he could still access consistent advice and support and had the warmth and security of his own room. Finally living in safe accommodation meant he could focus on himself, not just survival – he stopped smoking, saved up money, started eating nutritious food and established a healthy routine. He began writing and built a ritual of self-improvement, focusing on his strengths and building his confidence.

Today, he has his own flat and can live independently. He has started to rebuild his relationship with his estranged family, taking it one day at a time. Next month he’s fulfilling a lifelong dream of travelling to Rwanda.

Security is not being dependent on someone else. This is what I needed.

If you’d like to support our work, so that we can continue to help people like Frank, please donate.