Andy ended up sleeping rough on the streets of Nottingham after a personal crisis led to the break-up of his marriage. We helped him to get back on his feet and look forward with optimism to the future. He is now living independently and working.
After returning from Tenerife, where he had been living with his family, Andy found himself in the centre of Nottingham. He tried to get help from friends but nobody would help him. He was walking around the streets with all his personal belongings in a big suitcase, a hold-all and a shoulder bag.
He started going into McDonald’s to eat food left on the tables, tried to keep clean by washing himself down in public lavatories and slept by the canal. He explaiend: "The minute you’re on the street, nobody wants to know you. You lose your identity and sense of self worth. Your life starts going down in a spiral – you are in freefall, losing hope, feeling scared and feeling vulnerable.
“I used to stay awake during the night. I didn’t want to fall asleep being on my own: you’re always aware of people wanting to mug you, take your stuff. Strong as you are, the longer you’re in that position, the more vulnerable you end up feeling: you don’t trust anyone and become very paranoid.”
Andy still remembers the fear he felt when he was jeered at by a group of young people who had been drinking.
He was eventualy found sheltering in a Nottingham bus station by our Street Outreach Team, who helped him get a place at our London Road emergency accommodation. He added: "I was gobsmacked. My head was spinning with joy and confusion. I was taken up to this room. It felt like walking into the Hilton to me. There was a clean bed there with a duvet on, fresh towels, soap, a razor, toothpaste, heating… it felt like heaven! I was no longer of no fixed abode: London Road was my home. I’m living proof of what Framework do. They made me a human being again and gave me an identity."
Andy's support worker helped him get back into the system, start looking for work, sort out his benefits and, three months later when he was ready, find his own place.