Real life stories of homeless people

People can become homeless for many reasons. We would like to say thanks to the clients who have shared their experiences with us, and talked about their hopes for their recovery and the future

In 2011 our Oral History project Street Stories gathered the stories of 41 residents. Listen to some of their stories and watch a short video by clients who conducted the oral history interviews (please be aware - some of the interviews contain strong language).

You can also watch some of our clients and staff talking about our work.

  • Andy's story
    Andy has overcome many challenges over the years, and has struggled to access the support he needed. After seven years of sleeping rough, he is now staying at one of our London hostels and feels that his situation and his health have dramatically improved: “Things have improved. 100% – more than that, 110%.”
  • Izabela's* story
    When Izabela lost her job, she was asked to leave her accommodation and became homeless. In April, she was put in touch with our Skills and Employment service and joined the RollOnMonday placement initiative. She now works as an Events and Conference Assistant in central London and has been able to move into her own flat again.
  • James' story
    James, 55, is currently staying in one of our London hostels, and talks about his experiences of sleeping rough while living with HIV.
  • Neil's story
    Neil has been an apprentice at a St Mungo’s Broadway accommodation project in Camden since October 2014. The project supports homeless people with mental health problems. Neil is in a unique position to support his clients as he spent two years homeless himself.
  • Barry's story
    Barry first became homeless when he was just 18. When sleeping rough his difficulties with alcohol got much worse and he was, during one particularly scary night, set alight in his sleeping bag. With the support of his key worker, he has started to engage with local substance use services and is a residents' rep.
  • Graham's story (*not his real name)
    Graham had a history of substance use and mental health problems. Since joining our Adamson Road project, he has been put on medication, stopped drinking and smoking, started exercising and reversed and eradicated Type 2 diabetes.
  • Colin's story
    At the start of 2013, Colin Rosie was sleeping rough on the streets of Westminster. Today, he is running his own vintage clothing stall in Spitalfields Market, after being successfully supported by our No Second Night Out project.
  • Jacob's story
    Jacob had a history of multiple offences, substance use and had been unemployed for almost 20 years. Through the held of our Bridge the Gap programme he has now started University and has a part-time job.
  • Scott's Story
    Scott is all too familiar with the effect that sleeping rough can have on a person's health, even for someone as young as 35.
  • Anil's story
    After struggling with drug and alcohol use Anil left his family and started sleeping on the streets. With the help of St Mungo's Broadway he has tackled his substance use problems and is even starting his own business.