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Our stories

Real stories, shared by customers who have stayed at our services. learn more about why people come to Evolve, and how we work with them.

Mylène

It was a beautiful sunny day when we sat down with Mylène (right) for coffee in the garden of her South Norwood flat. “I said to the council, all I need from a flat is to be less than two-stories up and some fresh air. This is perfect!” She moved there in December 2021, after […]

Mylene's story with Evolve

Mia Hayden, 24

“There was pressure to stay where I was, but where I was wasn’t safe. My family felt I had chosen to be homeless, which heightened my depression and anxiety. I felt like I was doing something wrong by trying to protect myself.” When her family moved abroad, Mia* initially went with them, before challenging circumstances […]

Mia found herself homeless after leaving her family home and facing abuse from her partner.

Shannon Kim Beecher, 23

Up until her sixth birthday, Shannon and her brother had lived in the care system. She settled in West Norwood after her adoptive parents, having originally planned on adopting one child, took in both siblings. But growing up for six years uncertain, unstable, and confused had eroded Shannon’s mental health and sense of self-worth. When […]

Mark, 24

For most people, home is a place that’s safe, stable, and secure. But what happens when those things aren’t assured? Growing up Mark never felt the safety most children typically get. He experienced trauma and abuse at home, but only left when he was asked to move out a few years ago. “I was asked […]

Jenna, Health + Wellbeing Manager

I’ve been working at Evolve for four years nurturing the mental health of our homeless residents. For the first year and a half I worked on the Peer Circles project, after that I moved to managing their counselling service for two years before moving into my current role as the Health + Wellbeing manager. I’m […]

Andrew Sharrow, 19

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic families have been put under increased strain. Living spaces that were questionably small before, have become claustrophobic with the addition of lockdown measures. For Andrew, this has meant spending almost all his time in a two-bedroom apartment that he shared with his brother and mother. While struggling to contend with the […]

Gabe Purcill, 17

2020 was undoubtedly challenging for many people living in London, but for Gabe it’s been more than that. It’s been a test of character, confidence and strength which led Gabe to leaving his abusive family home during lockdown, after it all became too much. “It always felt toxic, but it got to a point where […]

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 […]

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