My immediate neigbour lost his Job, could not sustain his family and they had to beg money for food. Council housed them in a hotel because they have children. What if you do not have papers and no children. This is Stephens story!
I have been living in a homeless unit where I moved in when I lost my Job and was kicked out of my flat because I could not afford rent. Many people I have met feel that all homeless people are entirely to blame for their own miserable situation and that they are mental cases, drugs or alcohol abusers. Well, my story is different; I have been a Christian all my life and at the moment, I am moving from the deep end, so I can share my sad story.
I am from Uganda. I moved in UK from Uganda at the age of 24. That was 8 yrs ago my family fundraised to get my ticket to the UK and that was just it. The only person I knew was my cousin who had come 5 yrs before me. She was settled with her boyfriend when I came. They were good to me and two weeks after arrival, I was already working. I discarded all my education plans and kept working at the care home for 6 years. I moved from my cousin’s home and rented my own flat which I shared with two brothers. I saved a lot and did some projects in Uganda. Meanwhile, my cousin begrudged me as she said I was showing off doing all those projects while she came before me and she did not have much. I only had two properties. To cut the story short, she did not want anything to do with me.
In 2010, I was very sick and admitted to hospital. I was there for two months. The first month, my pastors and congregation used to come but after that the visits diminished. I was left with no visitors and by the time I was let out, I had to take a cab home. I was ready to go back to work but when i reported, they were asking for additional paper work. You all know what that means. I did not have the needed work permit, so I lost my job!
The pressure was mounting as I had bills to pay with no job. I got a job at a security company; worked for a month, sleeping on my church friends couch but the owner did not pay me. It was getting unbearable and one day I just thought I had had enough. My family in Africa were asking for money as they always did but I had nothing to send. I went bought some tablets and consumed all. I was in Seven Sisters. I sat in a corner i remember me crying so hard. The next thing, I woke up in a bed. I had been picked as a homeless person. They
thought I was drunk. I still had my bag with me. I had a bath and breakfast,, they assessed me and they said i can stay in the men dormitory until I can pick my pieces. I had become homeless.
To cut the story short, I have been helped acquire new skills and last week i was hired as a care worker after I got my NVQ. My life is turning around. I only go to Church of England as they helped me at my time of need, without knowing them when those I knew deserted me. I am going to volunteer there and will get married this year to a lady who I met at the homeless unit. It’s all good as God came to my rescue. I got my papers now and I plan to go back to University when still working. I just wanted to say that homelessness in London is a big problem with Africans community. Nobody is to blame as sometimes life can just seem unbearable. If i got out of it, so can anyone who is going through tough times.
Copyright - ukentv
Approved by Janet Wainaina