"I’ll never forget those horrible winter nights, where it was so cold that you just couldn’t sleep. I remember I would wake up at 2am and have to go for a walk as I couldn’t stop shivering from the cold."
One day I had a terrible accident working on a construction site. I needed three operations on my arm.
To give you an idea, before the accident I was able to bench press 130kg, now I cannot even manage 10kg. Because I lost all my strength in my left arm, I couldn’t return to my job or find any other jobs in construction.
I was unable to make my rent payments and had no one to turn to. I ended up buying a tent and rough sleeping in Stratford for an entire year. There were many difficult nights. I’ll never forget those horrible winter nights, where it was so cold that you just couldn’t sleep. I remember I would wake up at 2am and have to go for a walk as I couldn’t stop shivering from the cold. All I had was a tent and a bit of cardboard between me and the cold ground.
Luckily, I was referred to Your Place in August last year, and I have loved everything that my keyworkers have done to help me get back on my feet. The most important thing for me is that I now have my own room, which has heating, my own toilet and shower. Every night I go to bed feeling safe and warm. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate these essentials.
My keyworker has helped me so much, including with my CV and job applications. I am getting help and exercises to help heal my arm, so I can get back into work – ideally back in construction.
I am also a keen boxer, and I cannot wait to get back to training when my arm has recovered more. Before lockdown, I would play ping pong with the other residents in the lounge. Your Place is such a great place to meet people, and I have made friends here which I’ll keep even when I move out.
I am feeling confident about the future now, particularly with lockdown restrictions lifted. I know that I will land a job soon. This change in my mind set was only made possible by the safety and support which the team here have given me.