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Last December we produced a short film featuring Bal, a young homeless man living in a tent in Brighton. What happened next is remarkable…
Despite being homeless, Bal was holding down a job as an early morning cleaner and living in a tent. He came to First Base to keep clean and warm, to launder his clothes and to get advice and support.
After featuring in our film, Bal was invited for an interview with BHT’s Accommodation for Work project and they subsequently offered him a place in the project.
He moved in on New Year’s Eve.
I moved in with Accommodation for Work at the end of 2014 and slept in a bed for the first time in six months. Other homeless guys have told me they had trouble adjusting to sleeping in a bed again, but I didn’t. The first thing I did was make the bed and fall asleep.
After being here for the first month my body relaxed from the survival mentality that homeless people have, and a few injuries surfaced from sleeping on concrete. I had low iron levels and had to eat loads of green vegetables to get better.
Over the year I have kept my cleaning job as well as passing two courses in Maths and English. I have also completed a work placement at Umi hotel through Business Action on Homelessness, where I got to experience working as a receptionist. I loved working with the public and got to build up my confidence in the workplace.
I’ve been here for 11 months and have noticed a vast improvement in my confidence and health. I am getting loads of support for my wellbeing, both physically and mentally, and am preparing to move on in the New Year, having saved up the deposit I needed to move on.
BHT has turned my life around and I thank everyone involved for their care and support in my time of trouble.
Bal’s story is not an unusual one. We help over a thousand people just like him each year to find their way out of homelessness.
But now we need your help. Please donate to our urgent Christmas appeal for First Base Day Centre.