“I had a job. I had a life but I couldn’t afford a place to live and there was nothing I could do about it.” 

When Jason, 50, left his family home after his relationship ended, he became tangled up in the system that was meant to support him. All the stability he’d known before was gone. Although he did as much as he could to get help, when there was no guarantee of a roof over his head, the anxiety took a huge toll on his physical and mental health. 

“We tend to think we’re in control of our lives but that can all vanish in an instant. I feel like I’m a normal person but I have experienced something that no one should have to. 

“The end of my relationship kick-started a long period of instability where I didn’t know what was going to happen and whether I’d have a safe place to sleep. I was at the mercy of a complicated and unforgiving system. 

“And it’s not like I didn’t try. When I left my four-bed family home, I couldn’t afford to rent a place for myself, so I became a Live-in Guardian. One of the stipulations is that you have to be working. And I was, but the stress of my divorce triggered debilitating eczema. I was put on sick leave and then told I had to medically retire. That started a long and laboured eviction process that I couldn’t stop.  

“I called the council, contacted support services and did everything I could possibly do to try and find help. Eventually, my dermatology consultant stepped in and referred me to medical housing services who got me a spot at a hotel. 

“February 18th 2021 is a date that will be seared into my mind forever. It was my final eviction date. I took all my belongings, put them into storage and set off to a hotel. I had no idea what was happening. All control over my life was gone and I was at my absolute lowest. I knew then that I could never experience this again.” 

Between February and September 2021, Jason lived in a hotel, a hostel and finally supported accommodation. At the end of August he was referred to the Single Homeless Project Tenancy Support Team. Within a month he was in his own home. 

“I think it’s the speed with which everything happened which shocks me the most. I’d lost hope and I was so tired of it all but Single Homeless Project sorted me out so quickly it’s hard to believe. 

“I was very nervous when I had the initial phone assessment to see if I was a right fit for the private rented sector, but my Tenancy Support Worker Edith was so reassuring and kind and I felt at ease. 

“Within a week I was invited to my first viewing. When that wasn’t appropriate I was shown another property. It was perfect and I really wanted it but I knew others were looking so I wasn’t hopeful. I left that viewing, walked to a café and immediately got a phone call from my PRS worker Emily saying it was mine if I wanted it. I couldn’t believe it. I had the keys later that day.” 

“Now I’m finally looking forward to the future. I’m secure in my own home and my mental and physical health are so much better. I’ve started to take some odd jobs to get me back into work. 

“My descent into homelessness was long and painful. The helplessness, uncertainty and frustration that I felt is something I’ll never forget. 

“But I have a new sense of gratitude now for the help I received. Single Homeless Project swooped in, patched me up and put me back on the right path. I’ll always be thankful.” 

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