Since he left school, Michael, 39, has suffered with mental health issues and also has severe arthritis meaning he cannot hold a pen.
Michael became homeless after he separated from his partner, the mother of his two children. With nowhere to go, Michael turned to drugs and started sleeping on the streets.
He relied on The Salvation Army for food, refreshment and emotional support. Every day he would go to the Pottergate ARC to use the shower and have a warm drink and every evening he would go to the Haymarket to get some food and essential supplies from The Salvation Army’s soup run.
Michael remembers feeling hopeless when he was living on the streets. The services available gave him somewhere to go and someone to talk to. Michael said, “It was a lifeline. It gave me something to look forward to each day.”
As he got to know the staff at Pottergate ARC they were able to signpost Michael on to specialist support, including addiction services, that could help him address the issues that led to his homelessness.
Michael was offered accommodation through St Martins and when the time came to move on into his own tenancy, he was supported to ensure he had everything he needed.
When Michael needs emergency supplies or his two children are visiting him at his new home, he is offered food parcels as he still has days when he struggles and needs extra practical and emotional support, especially as he isn’t well enough to work.
Michael is happy to share his story: “If my mistakes can help save just one person from going down the same path of drugs and sleeping on the streets, then I’ll be happy.”