David, a former customer of Alexandra House sadly passed away following a short illness in summer 2019.
He came into our services in 2014 following a previous period of homelessness, and quickly got involved in our peer mentor group. At Christmas 2016 David shared his story of what it is like to be homeless at Christmas and his hopes for the new year:
‘Last year, I spent most of Christmas Day trying to block out the fact it was Christmas and it went by quickly. However, it was better than the previous Christmas, which was my first year in a hostel, and it was my first Christmas separated from my wife and kids. It was very lonely. I was so upset that I drank all day. Eventually my sister came and found me and took me to hospital.
This Christmas, however, will be worlds apart from previous ones. This year I have been in touch with an old friend from school who I haven’t seen for 25 years. We used to be best mates but we grew apart when he moved away.
Since getting back in touch, we’ve met up a couple of times during the year and he invited me to spend Christmas with his family. I thought it was too good an offer to turn down, so I’ll be travelling up to stay with him over the festive season. I’m so happy about it and so grateful. I’ve also started to form a relationship again with my mum who I haven’t seen for 13 years, and she didn’t want me to be alone again this Christmas, so she’s pleased that I’ll be surrounded by friends who care about me.
I’m looking forward to the new year, as well. During 2016, I’ve been volunteering with the Work + Learning team and helping with IT workshops. It’s given me the confidence to think about what I want to do in the future. I’ve really enjoyed teaching IT to my fellow customers and I’m considering working alongside the Work + Learning team here at Evolve as I’ve really enjoyed it so far. I have several avenues I’m considering for next year and Evolve has empowered me to make those choices. Something else I’m looking forward to is spending more time with my friends and family now that I’m back in touch with them. I want to move on and find full time work. I think next year is going to be really good!’
If you would like to support our vital work with customers like David, please see our Christmas donations page.
If you are considering working for a homelessness charity like Evolve in the new year, please see our vacancies page.