Malcolm had built a life for himself in Thailand - a house, car, partner, and job working in computer engineering. It all fell apart during the pandemic and Malcom was forced to live on our city’s streets for two months. Our St. Giles hostel has given him the stability and support he needed to get back on track.

“I was in Thailand for seven years. It was my home. But I went from a full life to having nothing very quickly.”

During the pandemic, Malcom’s life slowly unravelled. He was made redundant in 2021, and unable to find new a new job, he slowly ran out of money, and his visa expired. Eventually, he was arrested, spending over a month in a Thai prison before being deported earlier this year.

Things didn’t get better when he touched down in London. With the flight home paid for by the UK authorities, Malcom’s passport was confiscated until he could repay the money.

He was alone – no money, no ID, no options. And despite being referred to outreach teams, Malcom had nowhere choice but to sleep rough.

“I spent over a month on the streets. I was living on a bench, basically by Bedford Square. It was a bit of a shock. I went from a full life to having nothing very quickly.”

“I just used anything I could to keep going. I used public toilets to wash and shave. I had to eat out of bins to survive. It was sometimes surprisingly good what people threw away. Sometimes you were lucky with a whole Burger King or something, but once I got lucky with a whole £28 sandwich from Harrods.”

After a couple of weeks, Malcolm got his Universal Credit advance payment, using that to live on – but was still stuck on the streets, waiting for support to become available.

“I had to wait to be verified as homeless, but there were further delays when I missed the outreach team. It felt like a long wait. I just knew I had to get off the streets quickly.”

“I never felt safe, especially at night. I slept maybe two, three hours a night. I saw a couple of people being mugged, getting their phones snatched. I’d go to sleep hugging my possessions.”

Eventually, Malcolm was found a room in our St. Giles service – an emergency shelter for people who have recently been rough sleeping in the heart of Central London.

“Just having a bed after being on the streets was everything. The first three days, I did nothing but sleep.”

At St Giles, Malcom found the stability he needed to rebuild his life.

“It’s been really good here – they’ve looked after me well. I’m already working on the next path on my journey, finding employment again.”

“I’ve got a job coach at the Job Centre, my CV is on LinkedIn, and I spend my day in the library applying for jobs. It’s up to me to get going again”.

“I’m glad I’ve found that next step – that launchpad to push myself forward.”

“Get a job, get back into work, get back on track.” 


“Everyone’s circumstances are slightly different, but people need to know they need help.

Malcom has now moved on to another accommodation and was over the moon and thankful for the support that he got.

Homelessness is an experience, not a forever – and with the right support, it can be ended.