It’s strange to think about now, but this time last year I was sleeping rough each night on the streets of central London. I’d been out since December 2016 after my landlord evicted me, serving two months notice on my flat under what I soon learned is known as ‘Section 21’ of the Housing Act. I’d never earned enough money to save for a deposit and my local council told me they were unable to help. When the two months came to an end, I had no options left. I packed my belongings and headed to the streets. I’d been born in Paddington, but now I felt like an unwanted person in this city and ashamed for my three daughters who had nowhere to visit me.
Fortunately, a homeless outreach team found me sleeping out a few months later, and I then ended up in a hostel. The staff there helped me find a new place to live which I’ve been in since last year. I’ve been desperate to get back into a career since moving in. Previously, I worked as security guard in a central London gallery but to prevent ending up homeless again I know I need to work in something better paid. Many of my friends work as a taxi drivers: you can earn good money in the job if you put the hours in and I like the flexible nature of the work. With your support, I can get my taxi licence and soon be driving towards a better future for both me and my daughters.