Hairdressing has been in my family since the 1960s. Sometimes I think it runs in my blood. When I was a kid growing up, my mum's sister had a hairdressing salon. I remember it being so exciting for me to see her in the middle of this community centred around her and her hairdressing. That's what happens when you get regular clients as a hairdresser, you get this wonderful sense of warmth. They become a part of you, a part of your life, and it feels so good to give these people your time and to make them feel good and important.
I had a bad experience in my last flat. My safety was at risk, violence was involved, and I was scared to be there. I ended up sleeping on any bed or sofa I could find: friends, family, whatever would take me away from that place. There's a real loneliness that comes with moving around all the time, never secure, never able be self-sufficient.
One of my big goals for 2020 is to get my hairdressing qualifications and get a job as a stylist. This will help me to look after myself! Beam's providing me with the opportunity to do this, and if there's anything I've learnt in the last years, it's that I'm persistent - I will keep going to achieve my goals. In the far off future I want to have my own little salon, like my aunt did, and train others to cut hair who are in a similar situation to me.
In the meantime, I have my hobbies that bring warmth to my life. Having friends round for dinner, baking at home, exploring second hand shops and growing plants - these give my life meaning today!
Anthony is working with Beam because he's been homeless in the last year.