James* recently came to Barnabus after spending his first few nights on the streets, he was scared and very worried for his safety and his future.

A few months prior James had lost his job, despite finding temporary agency work he was not able to keep up with his rent. James was now homeless and relying on the support of his friends to find somewhere to stay every night. After a period of sofa surfing James had run out of friends to stay with and now had nowhere to go.

James had never slept rough before; he did not know what to do, where to go for help and was too scared to sleep on the streets. He spent a couple of nights moving between all night buses and a 24hour McDonalds to stay around other people where he felt safe enough to close his eyes for a while and catch a bit of sleep.

After his second he was told he could get help to move off the streets at Barnabus. Fortunately for James he came to see us during the councils Severe Weather Extra Provision (SWEP), this is where the council provides emergency accommodation to rough sleepers during life threatening severe weather. We were able to work with the Manchester City Council Homeless Outreach team and that night he was referred into emergency sit up accommodation.

As SWEP accommodation is only a short term offer (for as long as the severe weather lasts), we also completed an A Bed Every Night (ABEN) referral. This would give James a bed in a longer term temporary accommodation. Now we just had to wait for a suitable ABEN hostel bed to come available and hope that it came before he was back out on the streets when SWEP accommodation closed.

James was so determined to improve his situation he continued to do a couple of agency work shifts while staying in the SWEP sit up accommodation. Fortunately, after a few days a bed became available in an ABEN hostel, he went for an assessment and was accepted. James came back to see us a couple of days later and was so grateful for the support.

We provided him with a food parcel, clothing and toiletries to help him get back on his feet and said that were always here for him if he needed any other support. James hopes to move back into full time employment and back into private rented accommodation.
Sadly, we are seeing more and more people who have never experienced homelessness before and our aim is to get them off the streets as quickly as possible and help them back into housing so that they can remain in work and their lives can be rebuilt quickly. It is only with your kind help and donations; that we are able to offer this support.

*Name has been changed to protect our friend’s identity