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Everybody In

Stand against homelessness. End it for good.

Imagine a world without homelessness. We know it can be done. But we need Everybody In to make it happen.

Read and share our real life stories of homelessness, to help change attitudes and build a movement for change.

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Our storyteller George is out there every day speaking to real people about their experiences of homelessness. Read and share these stories below. Let’s get the conversation started and change opinions.

'I was a BBC cameraman for over thirty years. I started off as an electrician before my cousin, Errol Brown, the singer with Hot Chocolate suggested I should learn how to do lighting by going on tour with them as a lighting technician. After that I went to America and worked at Universal Studios for a while before getting a job for the BBC as a lighting gaffer. From there I went onto being a technical operator for news and current affairs learning everything from remote cameras to sound engineering. I did film work for Sky, London Weekend Television and various other production companies. I even worked at Pinewood studios for a while. Just before I retired though I separated from my wife and then my brother died, and I fell into a depression. It was a situation that I just wasn’t used to. I didn’t know how to handle it, and so after all that, having three houses, plenty of money and a grand career I ended up on the streets for a couple of weeks. I’m living proof that it can happen to anyone but I managed to drag myself out of it.'

Read Brian's story now

Tom

'I can’t blame everything on my parents but I know my upbringing had something to do with my drinking. Three of my brothers have grown up to have the same problem. My twin brother has always been on and off the streets. Drink changes people. It wrecks relationships. I lost my marriage, my job and my children but I’m trying to make amends now. I’m off the street. I’m getting treatment and in a hostel. This year will be my first Christmas inside for a long time. It’s not like family but I’m looking forward to it.'

Read Tom's story now

'I was living in Europe working in the music industry for fifteen years but I decided to train properly in music production so I went back to university at the age of 40 to get a degree. I completed the first year ok but then I had a stroke and couldn’t keep up. I’d left school at fifteen so I was finding it difficult anyway but after I became ill it became too hard and I had to drop out. One day everything was looking positive then it all went wrong. I used to be a fit strong man and now I struggle walking for fifteen minutes.'

Read Tony's story now

Lee

'My mum was my rock and my soul mate. I always turned to her when I had problems. She always knew what to say and how to make me feel better. My parents split a longtime ago and my dad is more into gambling than his own family. My mum was the only one I was really close to. She didn’t tell me for two years after she found out she had cancer because she didn’t want to worry me. It took another two years before she died. They let her home for Christmas because they said she wouldn’t make it past then but she did. Shortly after that she went back into hospital and passed away.'

Read Lee's story now

'I like the fact that people can tell I’m a bit more bright eyed and bushy tailed that many people on the street. I feel sorry for other people out here because I know how hard it is to have that habit and still try and make plans for the future. I’m blessed that I haven’t got that hold of me anymore. So if I make more money than I need for me and Tank to eat then I’ll give what’s left to those who need it more because I understand the necessity of it for them. It’s not always a choice. It’s just not as simple as that. It’s like medication. When it gets hold of you, you can’t function without it. It’s horrible.'

Read Dave's story now

Jo

'I came to England from Poland nine years ago after my mother died. First I went to Great Yarmouth and was selling fish and chips, but the man gave me no contract and paid me just £3 per hour so I left and came to London.'

Read Jo's story now

'I always thought homelessness was just rough sleeping. I’m lucky that I didn’t have to sleep on the streets, but when I asked a homeless charity for help they told me that it’s people in unsuitable and temporary accommodation too. I didn’t know there was any help out there when I was in that situation. I had no idea I was entitled to any benefits or support. I thought it was just the way things were.'

Read Codi's story now

'My mum was a single mother and she was very strict. She never let me go out and dictated everything I did. Even the clothes I wore. I was never allowed to go to youth clubs or parties. I was an only child but I was never allowed a social life. I did everything she told me. I left home when I was twenty completely unprepared for the adult world. I didn’t really know what was acceptable and what wasn’t for younger people.'

Read Ann's story now

'The main problem is getting into shelters with a dog. There is one hostel that allows dogs but only two at a time, and whenever I’ve gone it’s always full. Charlie’s always been like a rock for me. It’s lonely out here on your own and having Charlie makes a real difference. He brings a smile to my face. He doesn’t judge me. I couldn’t ever bring myself to let him go.'

Read Paul & Charlie's story now

'I’ve been on the street for three weeks because the Job Centre sanctioned me for not turning up to a meeting I didn’t know about. I’d been living in a hostel for five months but my benefits weren't enough to pay the rent so I was already in debt. When the money stopped they just kicked me out.'

Read Dana's story now

'One day I just thought - enough. I was spending money just to cover up my thoughts, so I went to my doctor and told him I was afraid I was becoming an alcoholic. I was glad for that support. Sometimes if you help someone before they go downhill, like that young man I helped in the school, you can turn them around before it gets any worse. It’s never too late. I’ve not had a drink for nearly seven years now.'

Read Leroy's story now

'Eventually I registered as homeless with four councils in the Liverpool area. All in places that I had connections with, but there was only one council that would support me. All the others said that as a single homeless person I couldn’t be helped. They said you’ve got to stay in a hostel or live on the streets, but all the hostels were full. I couldn’t believe that I was in my own country and I couldn’t get anywhere to live. It’s got worse now. The rents are higher and the wages lower, so it’s no wonder that people are on the streets. I don’t think a lot of people know that and they should.'

Read Andy's story now

'I started getting depression after my daughter was born. I didn’t have much family around me and I felt isolated all the time. The stress became too much and I just couldn’t cope. Health workers came and gave me some support but none of my family really helped or understood. I couldn’t look after her properly, and I began to take everything out on my partner too.'

Read Sarah's story now

'I’m getting a bit old now and my teeth are falling out. I was sleeping in my tent one night and I put my fake tooth outside in a jar. Then I saw a magpie swoop down and steal it. It cost £150 that tooth. I saw it again the next day looking sheepish in a tree. I never did get it back.'

Read Rob's story now

'I’m generally very optimistic, but there are a lot of people who have lost hope. Society treats you differently when you’re homeless. Some people can see beyond that, but even they still need support. Some people can’t though, especially people who have been street homeless for a long time. The negative parts of their experience make such a strong impression on their life they can’t move on without help. Most people just need a house first, and then the other things can be worked out afterwards.'

Read Gerald's story now

'We all get lost sometimes, we all get confused, and that leaves us vulnerable. If there was a way that people could get help before they get stuck as homeless that would help. When I became homeless I could easily have gone down the wrong path of crime or addiction, but the sensible side of me always said that there was a better way of doing this.'

Read Ali's story now

'Everybody in the group has such a different experience that it really challenged me. It’s changed my perception of what homelessness is. It’s not just rough sleeping. It’s ordinary people who’ve fallen into extraordinary circumstances.'

Read Daniel's story now

"My son has a serious medical condition. He’s been in hospital several times and just recently it was for six months straight. I had to stay with him every day. I was living in Luton in private accommodation and I was also on housing benefit, but that didn’t cover the shortfall in the rent, so I got into arrears and I was told I was going to be evicted."

Read Florence's story now

"When I told the job centre they said that it was classed as voluntarily leaving my job, which meant that when I applied for the universal credit they sanctioned me for a whole year as punishment. They know my situation. I don't have mental issues, I don’t have any children, so as far as they’re concerned I can fend for myself."

Read Nathan's story now

"We got talking online, and then arranged to meet in Oxford where she lived. We sat in a café and talked for a long time. We held hands, and we realized that we were indeed father and daughter. She was 34 years old, and she told me that she’d been looking for me for years. I had no idea."

Read John's story now

Abi

"I’m going to train as a social worker because I want to work with young people that have been through what I’ve been through. I feel as someone that has been through it all l I could make an impact on these young people and show them that they’re not alone and someone out there does care."

Read Abi's story now

"I always loved music since I was really young. I started writing lyrics when I was thirteen years old, I’m twenty six now. I’ve been pushing it a lot this year. I’ve been going to more open mic events. Performing at bars and stuff like that, and pushing my music out and going to the studio."

Read Gammakid's story now

"I try to keep my mind positive otherwise I would go down the wrong path. I don’t really like being on my own all the time. I find it hard. I feel lonely all the time. The hostel I’m in now is alright but the kind of people in there I don’t really want to be with."

Read Gemma's story now

"I was married for 14 years. 2 kids. Then my wife woke up one morning and said she no longer loved me. I tried to fight and beg. I asked if she wanted to go to counseling but in the end I had to admit defeat."

Read Alex's story now

"If someone had told me that later on in life I would be homeless I would have swear blind - never. You can never expect it. It just happens."

Read Saville's story now

"There’s a myriad of different reasons for people being homeless but no one stops to ask. Everyone just automatically thinks, ‘They’re a junky, they’re an alco.’ I met so many people on the street that didn’t have a drink problem, didn’t have a drug problem. They were homeless through their circumstance but not everyone stops to think about that."

Read Stephen's story now

"I want to help and influence people through what I’ve done, what I’ve had to suffer with in my life, the journeys I’ve been on, and I’m sure loads of people out there have been on those journeys, and they just want a bit of confirmation that they’re not alone and things will get better."

Read Hazel's story now

"There wasn’t one big thing that was the moment I decided to drop out. It was just a steady slide downhill. At the end of my second year going into my third I just didn’t go back. I just knew I couldn’t do it anymore."

Read Emma's story now

“I joined an art therapy class and I completely fell in love with art. It completely changed my life. Some people would say it actually saved my life, and I think it did."

Read James's story now

"I’ve been photographing reflections on water. You don’t know where reality starts and finishes if the reflection is that clear. Not until the water’s disturbed. And I think that’s like life as well. When you’re on drugs you’re not aware of where reality is, and it’s hard to differentiate between the two."

Read Gabriella's story now

"I’m fortunate that I found a good housing association because there was not much housing being built back then, not in London anyway. I’ve been sporadically employed enough to keep a roof over my head ever since but my housing situation is still precarious. I’ve worked in theatre lighting and as a sign writer and painter. I’ve always worked - no rent arrears, no defaults. But if I was in private housing I’d be on the street. If you’ve got a home in London now – hold on to it.”

Read Hugo's story now