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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)

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 […]

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 […]

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