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Andy Winter, BHT CHief Executive:
I had been suffering with mental ill health for a while. I didn’t feel in control of my life and when my boyfriend left me things really started to go downhill.
My boyfriend and I had been sharing the rent and I couldn’t afford to cover his half as well as my own. I fell into arrears and before long a letter dropped on my door mat – it was a court summons.
I couldn’t deal with it. I buried my head in the sand until one day the bailiffs arrived and I was forced to leave my flat.
I had nowhere to go and so bought myself a tent which became my home for the next year.
I couldn’t believe I was homeless; it wasn’t something that happened to people like me.
Someone told me about First Base. When I arrived I was instantly welcomed. I was spoken to like a human being, something I hadn’t felt for a while. It’s easy to be overlooked when you are homeless, it’s like people forget that you are a real person with real feelings and emotions.
It felt good to have someone to listen to me and slowly my case worker helped me start to rebuild my life.
They helped me to put my CV together and eventually I got a job as a night worker in a warehouse.
I was able to keep clean at First Base which helped me to keep my job really.
I still wonder now what my employers would have said if they knew that I was homeless when I started with them.
Eventually, I managed to get a flat in the private rented sector and things have really started to improve.
I am working hard with my mental ill health and slowly I am getting stronger.
Quite simply, First Base saved my life and for that I am truly grateful.