A very different Christmas

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21 Dec 2012
by Neil Skinner

Christmas is traditionally a time of celebration and a time of joy; a time to enjoy the company of loved-ones and to take a well-earned rest from work.

For those with nowhere to call home, however, this Christmas day will not be a happy occasion; it will instead be a time for sad reflection, worry and suffering.

In 2013, with the public’s help, we will continue with our life-changing and (in some cases) life-saving work in the communities we serve.

In the last year we have helped more than 9,000 people – giving them hope for a more prosperous and fulfilled future. It is simply not possible to tell all of their stories (in this blog or elsewhere) but we thought that, on this day of all days, you’d like to read how we helped just one former rough sleeper to turn his life around....

Wayne, who slept rough for more than two years, was living rough this time last year – mostly in a flimsy tent at Sutton-in-Ashfield Reservoir. His Christmas 2013, however, will be very different experience.

Looking back on this life from his comfortable flat in Mansfield he is finally able to reflect upon his past, confident that a brighter future awaits him – away from drugs and away from the tent he called home for so long.

Wayne was accommodated at Framework’s Sherwood Street Centre, in Mansfield, after he came to the attention of our Street Outreach Team. Crucially, he was provided with so much more than just a roof over his head – he was given all support he needed to address his problems, to re-learn the skills he will need to live independently, and to find alternative long-term accommodation.

Wayne is still receiving support from Framework but, crucially, is heading in the right direction.

He said: “If I could go back and change things I would never have got involved with drugs in the first place, but Framework has given me a second chance. If it wasn’t for them then I really think that I would still be living rough, and if the was the case I really think that this time I would have ended up dead.

“In five years’ time I still see myself living in my flat. I want to get into volunteer work and then I can think about doing other things with my life. Without Framework so many more people would be living rough this winter.”

Wayne is just one of the many people we have helped in recent months. Why not take a more detailed look at our case studies page to learn about some of the other people we have helped. We hope you will find their stories as inspiring as we do.

To learn more about how you can prevent homelessness in 2013 see details of our Christmas campaign here.

Alternatively, donate £5 now by texting ROOF13 £5 to 70070

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