Real life stories

The stories

Filter stories to discover themes.

Arrange by


“That consistent point of contact is something that myself and a lot of other Crisis members I've spoken to find absolutely crucial because we're facing a world and a system and a society that has pushed you right to the edge."

Read Ben's story

"The Vagrancy Act didn’t help me at all. I was already on the streets, and then they fined me. You just felt like a statistic."

Read Shaun's story now

'They should be helping people before they get to the street rather than criminalising them once they get there. That’s how to end homelessness.'

Read Peter's story now

'I was first arrested for the Vagrancy Act in 2008. I just asked someone for 20p so I could use the phone. Two police saw it and arrested me on the spot for begging. I spent the night in the cells and was in court the next morning.'

Read Karl's story now

'Is it really in the public interest to convict people who have the misfortune of being on the streets in the first place? Should they be criminals for that reason? I would suggest not.'

Read Sam's story now

'Since coming to Blackpool I’ve now had thirteen charges under the Vagrancy Act, and I’ve also been taken to court twice for it. They just come up and tell you to move, but I don’t know where they expect you to go?'

Read Pudsey's story now

'When I was a police officer I liked helping people. We had more discretion back then to support people on the street. Now people are far too quick to criminalise them.'

Read Chris's story now

'My father and grandfather were both master shoemakers too, and now I’m the last in the line. When Jimmy Choo first set up his business he asked me to come to London to help him, and we worked together for over 10 years. I made more than twenty pair of shoes for Diana, Princess of Wales, and for all kinds of celebrities like Kylie, Prince, Lady Gaga, and Royalty from all over Europe.'

Read Yew's story now

'My husband and I split up in 2014 after he was arrested for beating me up badly. I was only working part time and had nowhere to stay at the time other than sofa surfing with a friend or sometimes with my mum,'

Read Petagaye's story now

'I have been sofa surfing with friends for four months while bidding on council properties. But since the lockdown I have been unable to view any of them.'

Read Ellen's story. now

'I don’t have any family support so it’s very lonely at the moment. If I didn't have Crisis' help, I don't know where I would have been.'

Read Jennifer's story. now

'Lockdown, self-isolation, social distancing, quarantine are possibly the worst words a person like myself could hear. I spend every day volunteering with various charities so that I can have a sense of purpose but also so that I can escape my reality as an asylum seeker who is not allowed to work living on £5.39 pence a day.'

Read Sam's story now

'It was a surprise to me the way it all happened, when I became homeless. I lost my job in 2015 after a period of ill-health and had to apply for welfare benefits. I had been staying in a private rental since 2012 and in late 2018, the landlord decided to sell the flat and gave me two months’ notice.'

Read John's story now

'I grew up with my mum and dad in a 3-bedroomed council property, but after my mum died in 2012 my dad ended up being housed in a one-bedroomed flat. I’d moved out of home only 2 months before, and after that I was constantly moving around, mainly working in care homes, but my health declined as I developed arthritis and fibromyalgia, and by 2017 I wasn’t able to work anymore. I got into debt and eventually had to move out of where I was living.'

Read Jana's story now

'While at school, I did well at athletics and I was in the under-18 Scottish athletics team. I had also signed up for military training. However, I fell off a horse when I was 17 and this was the end of that career choice and the beginning of my health problems.'

Read Carol's story. now

Yusuf first became homeless as a child when his mum lost her business. The family was moved between hostels, B&Bs and other unsuitable accommodation, never settling.

Read Yusuf's story now

"Honestly the attention given to me, and people’s time, and the atmosphere, it’s invaluable. People’s self-esteem is built up when things like this take place."

Read Phil's story now

“If you don’t get help, you escape from what’s going on inside you. That’s what I did, and I left to move to another city with a lot of sadness. My alcohol addiction escalated. I went to a really bad place.”

Read Kate's story now

"I felt sad. I felt like was there any point in me coming here [the council]? To give a booklet out and tell us that, and say that you’re not priority because you haven’t had experience with violence?"

Read Claire's story now

“It seems from my point of view that they’re trying to discourage you to go on the housing list. They will just give you reasons not go on the list.”

Read Pawl's story now

“...mentally it just ruins you. It’s horrible. I won’t want to wish it up on anyone."

Read David's story now

"My mental health was so bad, I wasn’t able to speak. I was crying all the time, I was so depressed."

Read Denise's story now

"I had no phone, no one to call, and nowhere to stay. I was worried about being on the streets. With coronavirus out there, I was even more anxious knowing my lung condition made me more exposed.”

Read Lloyd's story now

“I felt like I had been failed by so many services - I felt utterly judged and let down by my GP. My Crisis coach helped me focus on what is practical and can be done and find strength and skills within me."

Read Em's story now

“I have now managed to find work as a carer. Although it’s only three days a week it’s enough for me to pay for food while I am waiting for the council to find me somewhere to live.”

Read Henry's story now

“Just to have a bed and a shower, it’s given me a bit of my life back. Crisis have been brilliant. They’ve given me my confidence back.  My mental health has improved and I don’t feel as anxious and panicky. It’s given me a real boost. Now that I’ve got a stable place to live, I’m 100 times better.”

Read Jonathan’s story now

Richard turned to exempt accommodation when he had nowhere else to go. But he didn't feel safe there, and there was no support at all.

Read Richard's story now

Hannah has lived in accommodation managed by two different supported housing providers and had mixed experiences.

Read Hannah's story now