My name is Samuel and I am 32 years old. Last year my family and I lost our home. It happened so fast. I suffer from mental health problems and after I lost my job we couldn’t pay the rent so we were evicted. My partner and two children found a shelter exclusively for women and children. However, I had to stay somewhere else and luckily I found a room at an Action Homeless Hostel.
I am really grateful because otherwise I’d be on the streets. However, it’s very hard being away from my family. I’m really missing my daughter and son. The thought of not putting them to bed at night is really painful. My son is very young and he is having difficulty understanding the situation.
I’m trying to get some work but because I have very few qualifications, I am finding it very difficult. I’ve signed up to some sessions with Engage (Action Homeless’ inclusion centre) and I have started to volunteer with Action Trust (Action Homeless’ cleaning and maintenance social enterprise). I know it may take some time but by volunteering I am hoping to gain the skills to eventually help me to get a job.
I’m trying to stay positive and I am doing everything I can to make the best of our situation. It’s going to be a really tough this Christmas but I’m hoping it’s going to be a better year for me and my family.
Samuel and his family have since been housed in one of the long-term empty properties renovated by Action Homeless. He was able to spend Christmas in the home with his family and he has since gone on to get a full-time job with the building company that refurbishes our properties. Their family has grown with the addition of a new baby.