Joe, 22, stayed in Glass Door's night shelters during the winter of 2017-2018. He turned to Glass Door when he was told by his local council that he wasn't eligible for support. Glass Door caseworker Lewis suspected Joe's original application hadn't been carried out properly and found him legal representation to appeal the council's decision. 

Joe agreed to tell his story on film, which was shown at a reception for volunteers in May 2018. In the film, his voice breaks as he talks about his complex relationship with his mother:

My mum - I love her to pieces. She struggled to be a mum, as some people do. I hold no resent or upset... about the fact that she couldn't do it.

I forgive her and I understand her. Parenting wasn't her forte. I know she does her best now.

I think whatever situation people find themselves in - however pleasant -- or dark, it's always resolvable.

I think I can ultimately stop being homeless and start being something more than just surviving once I'm not homeless -- living -- and being everything that I want to be.

I have tons of people and situations to thank ... for doing what they do in a giving and a humble manner and living up to what they believe is right, and I respect that. Thank you.

Joe carries a journal brimming with his poetry, sketches and prose. He reads an excerpt with a calm, measured voice: 

To take apart and segment the mind

and see about what you think is fake or true

is to blur the lines between cultures and groups,

blur the lines in our ethnic soups,

blur the lines between me and you.

Joe was offered temporary accommodation after the solicitor wrote to the council. Lewis then arranged for further assessments and went along with Joe to these assessments to provide support.

Joe is now off the street and engaging with the support offered through his local council.


Homeless Stories - a video project featuring first person accounts of men and women affected by homelessness launched on 20 June 2018. Glass Door is proud to be the project's charity launch partner. Follow Homeless Stories on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter to see stories told by Joe and other Glass Door guests. 

To give shelter and support to someone like Joe and make a long-term difference in the life of someone experiencing homelessness, sign on to the Sleep Out or consider making a donation