When Simon was 21, he was forced out of his family home. With nowhere to go and his mental health at an all-time low, he had no option but to sleep on our city’s streets. 

"When I was homeless, I spent my days in the local leisure centre or library just so I could use their facilities. At night I would sleep in a stairwell at the hospital or on night buses so I could feel a bit safer. 

"I went into survival mode and tried to push down all my feelings. There was no one there to listen or support me;

'It feels like when you live in London you are invisible. There are so many people just going about their daily lives that no one really sees you. When you’re homeless it’s just the same but this is a time when you need to be seen the most.'

Eventually, he found a place in a night shelter and then came to Single Homeless Project accommodation in Lewisham. 

"Even when I initially got support, I didn’t feel like I was really seen or understood. Being supported by Single Homeless Project has been completely different. They gave me a safe supportive environment with Single Homeless Project has given me the chance to work through my feelings. People really care about me now."

It feels like when you live in London you are invisible. There are so many people just going about their daily lives that no one really sees you.

We worked with Simon to improve his mental health and open more options for the future. He took part in our Achieving Potential programme which helped him turn his passion for sports into a career. He is about to start a dream job as an Assistant Sports Coach for Gmax Trackstars. 

“The change in me from when I came to Single Homeless Project to now is huge. It’s like night and day. I felt so lost when I arrived and my head was not in a good place. Having a job was the last thing on my mind but look at me now! A lot has changed. 

“I lacked confidence but sports was something that has helped me my whole life. It’s been with me through every tough period of my life. When I knew it was time to get into work, I didn’t know what direction to turn to. I wanted to dabble in everything.” 

Simon accessed specialist employment support when he took part in our Achieving Potential programme. This helped him to focus on his career goals. 

“I had a conversation with one of the Achieving Potential trainers and it changed everything. He saw how passionate I was when I spoke about sports and asked if I’d ever wanted to share that passion through coaching. I knew that it was the right thing for me then.  

“I’ve been working hard to achieve that goal I’ve just accepted a job as an Assistant Sports Coach with Gmax Trackstar. 

“It’s hard to believe that I used to lack confidence because when I went into the interview for the job, I wasn’t nervous as I knew it was the role for me. I’m so happy I got it. I will be working with disadvantaged young people doing athletics. Sports has helped me through so much, so I know it will be able to help them too.” 

Simon has been supporting our Invisible Coffee Co campaign - serving coffee with a twist. Find out more about the project here.