Helping the Homeless

The last few years had been really tough for me.  I suffered with severe bouts of depression, no medication seemed to work and some days I couldn’t even get out of bed.

Depressed

The sad thing is, this resulted in me feeling unable to function properly and subsequently, I took a lot of time off work sick.  My employers were really sympathetic as I had been an employee for a long time and I was always very dedicated to my job but unfortunately, the company got taken over and my new employers were less sympathetic and soon I was going through the disciplinary process and eventually I was dismissed from my job.

Rent

Things then went from bad to worse.  Obviously, not having a job did not help my depression and when I couldn’t pay my rent, I was given notice to move out. I literally had nothing. I had no family, and no way of paying for food, let alone rent. I was evicted and ended up sleeping in my car.

Homeless 

I always tried to be positive and not let things get me down, sounds a bit weird when you are suffering with depression I know, but I had my car and at least I wasn’t on the street.

Music

To make enough money to eat, I would play my guitar (badly) and sing and I would earn enough to get by. Some fast food, water and some essentials to clean myself but no more than that. I will admit I really missed my home comforts.

Home Comforts 

Just when you feel you have reached your lowest ebb, you see how kind people can be.  Not all people of course, but you do realise that some people are so caring and want to help, selflessly and without wanting anything from anyone.

I realised this when I had a complete stranger knock on my car window to give me a coat, hat, gloves and scarf, a coffee and enough food for a couple of meals.  The thing is when you feel like you have hit rock bottom, gestures like this become bigger and mean more to you.

It became a regular occurrence.  It was the same people delivering the care package.  They would stop for a chat and have a coffee with me.  Sometimes our weekly chats were the only human contact I would have for days and days.  It certainly was lonely being homeless. 

Life Changing 

One day, I had a knock on my car window, with the usual food and hot drink and the person delivering this time said they knew of a scheme where if you worked for a minimal amount your food and board would be paid for, you would then have an address and could work your way up the job chain again. 

Job 

That day my life changed.  I started off washing pots in a restaurant and cleaning the kitchen, then became a trainee chef and moved my way up from there.  I absolutely loved it and retraining was enjoyable and I was meeting lots of new people and had a roof over my head.

Moving on Up

It was hard work and long hours, but eventually I became the assistant head chef and then head chef. Working my way up from pot washing to head chef took about 10 years but I loved it and it was worth every bit of the hard work over that period of time.

New House 

I was eventually earning enough to buy my own house, buy a new car as my old faithful car that I had lived in for years was old and rusty and I even met someone.  My life, with hard work and a bit of luck had come full circle and I was so happy.

Giving Back 

I had always promised that I would give back and help the volunteer organisation, who had helped me.  I did this by way of donating food from the restaurant to them once per week.  Hot meals were prepared and put into containers so that they were deliverable to people living on the streets, or in their cars like I was.

With the help of http://www.espressowakeupcall.com/I found, bought and donated a coffee machine to them, I had heard on the grapevine that theirs had broken, so I bought them a new one.  A hot drink was so important to me when I was down on my luck and I know it makes a real difference.

Repaying the Kindness 

There is no way, unless you have been on the streets, you can understand how much the little things mean.  Kind gestures are amplified and one small thing can mean the world. I hope in some small way, I have helped support people who are unfortunately still homeless and to repay those amazing people that helped me.