Richard found himself homeless when his marriage broke down. He’d been a stay-at-home dad caring for his children, whilst his wife pursued her career. When things started to unravel, he didn’t know where to go. For a while he tried to keep it from his children, sleeping rough opposite the flat he used to share with them. But this quickly become unmanageable, and he found himself needing our support.

“I was living in a nice apartment, in a nice complex in a very nice part of town. When I slept rough I slept over the road from where I’d been staying. The principle reason that I was still going back during the day was strangely, to look after my children and take them to school. And then pick them up from school and do the washing and the cleaning. Which is a very bizarre arrangement and when things started breaking down I ended up in the Night Centre here”

Thanks to your support we were able to help Richard access our Emergency Night Centre while we helped him find permanent accommodation. He’s now moved in to his own place – and his children can come and visit him again.

“What I don’t think a lot of people realise is that once you get to know the people using The Connection it’s an exact mirror of society, you’ve got people from all sections of society. People who’ve had families, people who’ve had good jobs. At the other end you have people who’ve been in prison and who’ve had abused childhoods so… Don’t think it can’t happen to you because it can and very easily. But here it doesn’t matter where you’ve been, where you’ve come from, you’ll be treated well and equally.”

Richard has been retraining so he has the skills to be financially independent and stand on his own two feet. He attended The Connection’s Build a Bike course and completed the European Computer Driving Licence, before accessing a trainee scheme, which has given him the skills needed for his new job working as a support worker in a women’s hostel which he is really enjoying.

Without your donations, Richard wouldn’t have been able to receive this support – and to now be in a position to support others.