Ryan’s story

Ryan spent three nights on the street and that was enough for him. It was a real eye-opener. After teaching English as a foreign language for three years in Thailand, he came back to England because of a health problem and was let down by a friend on his return.

“I didn’t sleep for three days because I was carrying all my bags and I was too worried to sleep. I didn’t eat at all – just an egg sandwich that I got at the hospital. I got so hungry I just felt empty. I stayed around Station Street and then the Victoria bus station. It changed me. I’d be shocked if my students in Thailand could see me.

“You might assume that all homeless people are on drugs but it can happen to anybody. That is really true. I didn’t think that I would come back to England and be in this situation. I was shocked.”

Ryan was approached by outreach workers and was offered a bed in a church and food from Emmanuel House. “I contacted Housing Aid but they couldn’t do anything to help me and I can’t claim benefits for three months,” he explained. “I pleaded with them and got a bed in a church. I just couldn’t spend any more nights on the streets. I was pretty shocked because it’s a genuine situation that I am in. It’s been a real eye-opener. A man in the church had a heart attack and this Mamba has just come out of nowhere.”

“Coming to Friary has more than helped me. They gave me a hoodie and beans on toast and that meant so much. They do so much for so many people.”

“This has really changed my outlook. Everybody’s circumstances are different and it’s really sad to see people on the streets. I would say to them work with the centres that can feed you and help you. I had no idea all these services were available.”

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