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I am 50 years old. I had a flat and worked in the construction industry.
I moved to Brighton for work when my job came to an end. For weeks I financed myself in B&B’s by using my savings but when the money ran out and I still hadn’t managed to secure work and so had no other choice but to sleep in my car.
I thought that it would be short term and that work would come my way soon but it didn’t. Winter came around and the nights got colder.
Sleeping in my car and the lack of warmth started to take its toll and I started to get ill. I ended up on hospital with pneumonia.
When the hospital finally discharged me it was freezing cold and the sense of hopelessness I felt that day was overwhelming. I went into the local library and asked the librarian if she knew where I could go for help.
She told me about First Base. Looking back on it now, that day was the turning point for me.
Because the weather was so cold that night, the cold weather night shelter was open at First Base and I was able to stay there for the night. For the first time in a long time I felt a sense of hope, perhaps things would be OK.
Things moved fairly quickly form there. I was entitled to benefits; I always had been, but hadn’t wanted to claim them because I felt so ashamed about my situation. I hadn’t had to rely on anyone or anything in the past and so claiming benefits didn’t come naturally to me.
First Base also put me in touch with another BHT project that helped me find accommodation in the private rented sector.
Life is good again. It’s taken some time but finally I am getting back on my feet. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without First Base.