25th January 2019

Life is a journey to be lived - Dom's journey

One of our Outreach Workers has been working with Dom (not his real name).

I am a sixty-year-old man, albeit from a very humble background. I had quite a tough childhood with 4 younger brothers and no mum from the age of 14. My mum, who was an alcoholic, passed away when I was 14 and Dad struggled to cope. With four younger brothers to look after I grew up fast! I worked ten to the dozen from my early teens to the mid-thirties and got an education - I had arrived! I owned three houses, travelled the world and lived in several different cities in the UK and abroad. I had raced cars, dated racy women and lived the dream.

However, I became addicted to coke and ecstasy and, to quote a phrase, “worked hard and played hard” - too hard. I had three failed marriages and lost everything, including my homes. Things went from bad to worse when I then lost my Dad, who was my mentor throughout my life, and daughter in law within three weeks of each other, both to cancer.

I lost the plot and suffered from huge clinical depression. I began self-medicating by hitting the bottle. I soon became very ill and suffered four strokes. I had no house, my so-called friends had left me, I had no money, my health was poor and I had no dignity. For seven months I lived in my old car. I was moved on, ignored, attacked, abused and set on by guard dogs.

I never begged or scrounged, preferring to scavenge what I could. Yes, I was an alcoholic but not a drug addict – just a homeless person, someone who had “vanished”.

I’m on my way back now. I am now housed, thanks to the joint work of Simon on the Streets, Fusion Housing and Connect – you all saved my life. The Outreach Support Worker at Simon on the Streets has been a constant source of support in helping me progress from a hopeless situation of homelessness to where I am now and they have always gone the extra mile for me. They have supported me in getting back into the “the system” and have acted as a sounding board and a conduit for me to get my thoughts out of my head. Most importantly, they have provided humanity when practically no one else did.

“Life is a journey to be lived”. It’s not just the days in your life, it’s the life in your days.

Other Blog Posts

23rd May 2019

Farid's story

One of our outreach workers has been supporting Farid (real name not used). When our outreach worker first met Farid, he had just been granted asylum in Leeds, having left his home country due to war. Farid had been in the UK for a while, and although he was not able to work, he had been spending his free time as a volunteer translator for a charity, as he wanted to give back.

Service User Stories