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Our Homelessness Stories

Real life stories from people who have experienced homelessness. Learn how they found their pathway back to independence with support from Evolve. (Some names have been changed to protect sensitive experiences)

CJ, 18

When you mention music, CJ comes alive. It’s that one thing that brings him the most joy in life. “I want to produce something that’s broadcast to thousands of people in films, on TV or through the radio. I just want my music to be heard.” CJ came to Evolve in September 2020 after a […]

Joe Talbot, 22

“I’ve been a victim of abuse my entire life and lockdown led me to leaving.” In 2020, Joe’s home life worsened. Having endured years of abuse at the hands of their mother, things only worsened when the pandemic meant Joe couldn’t escape their abuser. “The pandemic meant both me and my mum were home all […]

Manny, Handyman

How lockdown led to a music studio for young people experiencing homelessness At the end of 2019, Manwell started working as a handyman at Evolve’s homelessness service for young people. Being a former singer, the first thing that caught Manwell’s attention, or Manny as he’s more fondly known to residents, was the interest young residents […]

Elisha, Prison Discharge Navigator

I have been at Evolve for the past three years, first as a resettlement worker at Stockwell and then I moved into the Prison Discharge Navigator role just over a month ago. My job involves assessing people who are still in prison prior to release, supporting them upon release and sign posting them to resources […]

Tyrell Davis-Douglin, 20

Everyday Tyrell gazes out of his window and up at the Alto apartments that stand out looking over London. “That’s the apartment block I want to retire in. It’s an empowering thing to wake up and see that building every day. That’s where I want to be. Before I even came to Evolve that was […]

Wayne, 50

I served a life sentence then slept rough in a park for nine months When Wayne smiles it’s like clouds parting. Prison and then homelessness have swallowed a third of his life but he’s come out the other side. At 50, he’s putting it all behind him. He’s calm now, happy even. It all started […]

Donna, 50

Donna’s eager to get her laptop working, she’s been doing e-learning courses to retrain as a sign language therapist. “I just need to get these brain cells working,” she says. Sitting in an office in her supported housing in Croydon, it’s clear she’s brimming with determination to get back to work. Things started to go […]

Lesley, Evolve Counsellor

Last year in September, I started as a volunteer counsellor at Evolve as part of my psychotherapy training. In the few weeks before lockdown, I was aware that face to face counselling with my clients might not continue and that alternatives were going to be needed. It felt like a sudden loss to no longer […]

Adam

“I went from prison to rough sleeping but now reoffending ain’t even in my vocabulary” When Adam May was in prison for a second time – on a 28 day recall for non-attendance of probation – he felt hopeless. He thought this would be his life now – bouncing between prison and the streets. He […]

Flavio, 22

Flavio was a dazzling young footballer who had risen up the youth ranks of Crystal Palace and then West Ham. But in his late teens he was stabbed and almost died. After being released from hospital he became homeless and at the age of 20 he sofa surfed for seven months, sleeping on the couches […]

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