In August 2019, after 25 years living and working in Brighton/Hove, privately renting for many years and always paying the rent on time, I found myself abruptly and unfairly evicted. My rent had tripled overnight, so suddenly I was unable to continue my tenancy. In the blink of an eye my life had completely unravelled – I was homeless.
A friend at the time invited me to stay in her home as she had a spare room. Within the first week I realised it had been a mistake to move there but I didn’t know just how hard it would become and how our friendship would deteriorate. The house was always ridiculously cold; it was hard to sleep at night it was that cold. There was condensation and black mould which ruined the few belongings I did have, and there was no hot water. It wasn’t at all a healthy environment. It eventually reached the point where I was unable to stay any longer – after 18 months I had to leave for my own sanity – it was a hellish place to live and because of the way my friend and her mother treated me I just felt paranoid and anxious all the time.
I am unable to share much of my experiences of homelessness. I still feel incredibly anxious now recalling that time in my life – particularly my state of mind, the way I was treated and the awful experiences I had living on the street, constantly feeling afraid and alone. However I do feel compelled to talk about the invaluable care and support I received from Turning Tides when I needed it most.