Angus’ story

“When I was homeless I once saw half a cigarette on the floor. I was embarrassed to pick it up so I waited ages – and then someone else picked it up. After a while you stop caring what people think. You’re sinking then.”

This is how Angus felt when he was sleeping rough on and off for about three years. “I used to come to Friary feeling dirty and rough and leave with a spring in my step, feeling optimistic about the day ahead – like I could go out and get a job.”

Angus, who now has a job and somewhere to live, ended up homeless because of his drinking. “Drinking is like putting a suit of armour on – it stops things getting to you” he says.

“I was good at getting jobs but I couldn’t keep them because I would go on benders. I tried for years to get counselling but when I come to Friary and have a chat it’s just as good for your mental health. Friary has done so much more for me than I can say.”

Angus became homeless because of his drinking and then it became normal for him. “I would never sleep in the same place twice. I would go behind offices and travel quite far to find somewhere I didn’t think anyone else would go. I kept myself to myself but it felt terrible. I was out of it. I always knew there was a way out but I kept making the same mistakes. Sometimes I would wake up in a different part of the country.

“Friary helped me feel human every time I came here. They washed my clothes, listened to my problems and gave me advice. It gave me optimism for the day. It kept me alive because I got a bit suicidal.”

Angus is now in a bedsit and looking for private rental accommodation. “I’ve had a place before but because of getting so used to being on the streets, I felt uncomfortable sharing accommodation. It feels strange and I got used to getting somewhere different every night. Rough sleepers don’t always want to go to a place where homeless people are all together. I feel nervous and vulnerable about being amongst other people.”

“When I first became homeless it didn’t bother me. It was like an adventure but then it gets to you and it becomes normal.”

“Without Friary I wouldn’t have got to the point where I didn’t need help. I turned my life around and I still keep coming here,” he says.

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