To respect this person's privacy, we have been asked not to use his real name or personal photograph.
After the break up of my marriage, my life started to get gradually worse and worse until one day I couldn’t cope anymore and just gave up. It was then that I made myself homeless because I didn’t want to live and I thought the further I distanced myself from everything, the easier that would make it.
After several dark and emotional months barely just surviving, I decided suicide was not something I could do. I was still living rough in and around Thatcham but my mental health was slowly improving. Then one cold November night I came across two lovely Police Community Support Officers who then took me to the local hostel, Two Saints. Although it was nice to get off the streets for the night, I knew that place wasn’t an option for me. It did however lead me on to finding Loose Ends and the people who work there plus I got a tent and a sleeping bag. It was the middle of December so at last it was nice to have shelter and warmth.
In January I met a lovely lady called Meryl, that was when the Newbury Soup Kitchen opened. I could tell from the very start it was different from Loose Ends as the help was more proactive rather that supportive.
I’m not sure what it was Meryl saw in me, but she took me under her wing and gave me the mental support that I needed to start to regain my confidence. In some ways it was like starting life all over again and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Meryl, from the point where she organised my first proper hair cut for 18 months to getting my driving license. None of this would have been possible without Meryl and the Soup Kitchen's support.
Today and just a few months later, I have a good job and a lovely place to live and have been off the streets for almost 6 months. I personally can’t thank all the people who have helped me, especially Meryl. I’ll always be eternally grateful for the help I’ve received as without it I know I’d still be living on the streets. Thank you all very much.
9th October 2017