Stephen’s Story – update
You were there for Stephen
A string of traumatic events led Stephen, 23, from Blackpool, to become homeless. Thanks to you he got his own flat and now has a new job.
As you may remember from the Christmas Appeal 2014, Stephen’s life fell apart after undergoing treatment for leukaemia, his parents’ divorce and his father’s death. Even while going through such a difficult time, Stephen kept studying, and achieved an incredible two A* at A-Level and two B-Tech Distinctions.
‘I had leukaemia. There were points where I was in hospital for three to four months at a time. Of course it was hard being homeless but I just pushed myself to do the best I could,’ he said.
After two years of being homeless, Stephen discovered a local charity, Street Life, which applied to the Vicar’s Relief Fund for a grant to secure him a place to live.
‘It was a massive relief to get the flat. I finally didn’t have to worry about having somewhere to sleep, or whether I was going to have something to eat. I had somewhere to call home,’ says Stephen.
The flat gave Stephen the security he needed to move forward with his life. He is now working as a business administrator and is saving to fulfil his ambition to study sports science and mathematics at university.
Stephen added: ‘If I hadn’t got the flat when I did, I don’t think I would be where I am now.
‘People forget that being homeless is rarely by choice, it is usually a result of family life or health problems, like it was for me. Helping people get off the streets and get a flat – it’s not just about practical support, it gives people a new lease of life.’