So, what is it like to find you no longer have a home? – A personal story…

I was in a well-paid job working in the city of London.

The day started as every day started with a 6:00am commute (it took me 2 hours to travel each way). Work went well and I returned home; tired and drained.

Yet that night was like no other I had experienced in my life. I won’t go into details but by the morning I found myself without a home to live.

I found my extensive business contact list to be useless. Colleagues, business partners, but no friend I could call on to stay over locally. Fortunately, as I was in employment, I could book a room at a local B&B, and that became ‘home’ for the next several weeks.

All I had was one suitcase with clothes and toiletries (as you would when you go on holiday). I soon found washing laundry a real challenge. I was used to my own home, and now had to share a bathroom with other guests. When I wanted to relax, all I had was a tiny little room with few amenities. Breakfast was provided, but not early enough for a 6:00am commute. So even breakfast was complicated. Weekends were not great fun. After you have done a few walks, what else is there to do (when you have no local friends)? I couldn’t even pop into the supermarket to get meals as I had no means to cook it. Sandwiches, salads or takeaways do get tedious after a few weeks.

Then how do you get your post? I had no address to forward mail to. I was unable to return to my former home. I was utterly stuck. Thankfully all my bills were on direct debit and my bank account was still being topped up with my salary.

I had to leave behind my landline; my broadband internet; my TV. My mobile phone became my lifeline. I could not have lived without it. When you have no other means of making contact with others, my mobile became an essential tool. It was the only way I could address the crisis that led me to be without a home. Finding a solution took time. But an outcome was eventually reached. I was able to move from the B&B to find alternative rental accommodation.

I have to share a humorous side-line. When I moved in to my new rental (which had fridge, freezer, washing machine and cooker), it was a joy to go to the supermarket to stock up on food. I unloaded it into my new fridge and looked forward to my first cooked meal at my new home. I discovered that I did not have a plate, crockery, glasses, table or chair! These things were always ‘just there’. So another trip to the supermarket was required to buy those essentials.

I was in a fortunate position compared with many others who can end up having to sleep with friends or worse, having to sleep on the streets. I will never forget my own experience, which is one reason I am so passionate in helping others to have a home at Restore and move forward in their lives.

Do remember to pray for those without homes. Bless you.

Duncan

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