“I believe a lot of society associates homelessness with alcohol, drugs, the inability to hold a job down, gambling…. Of course those things do contribute to homelessness but, that said, homelessness can appear out of nowhere. I would say to everybody, be mindful and don’t be too hasty to judge people until you know a bit more about their circumstances.”

Terry, 70, became homeless for the first time when his relationship broke down with his partner. Things had become strained after Terry started struggling with his health.

No longer able to stay in their home, he spent a summer sleeping in his camper van in a local public car park. He kept a low profile so that it wasn’t obvious he was living there.

With the winter approaching, Terry knew he needed an alternative place to stay. Aware of The Winchester Beacon, he tapped on the window in October and asked what the criteria was for moving in. He was encouraged to make a self-referral and ten days later he was being welcomed as a resident.

Terry settled into Beacon life and from the start was keen to contribute: “My experience has been what I have made it. I’ve helped to prepare meals, I have cooked some meals. I love it because I am contributing. I’ve got to be busy and try and do what I can to make other people’s lives a bit easier.”

In early December, Terry progressed to one of our move on properties. Shared with three other residents, the house will give Terry more independence whilst he still receives regular support from staff at The Beacon. He hopes to eventually find a property of his own in the Eastleigh area.

Terry plans to return to our main site as a volunteer to help with cooking.


Image by Lottie Stevenson

This Christmas we will be providing accommodation and support to Terry and 21 other people experiencing homelessness. You can help to give them hope and the chance of a new beginning by donating today.

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