Tony was living with his wife and two children in Wrexham, yet when the relationship with his wife broke down he left the family home and was soon living life on the streets.
“I thought it would never happen to me. You see homeless people and you never imagine it’s going to happen to you. Life’s too good, you’re working, you’ve got a family. It just takes something to mess it up and before you know it you’re on the streets with them, like. You feel like nothing, walking on the streets people look at you as well, look down at you, you’re just the bottom of the pile.”
Tony spent five years street homeless, an experience which he says left him physically and emotionally exhausted.
“You just start thinking – is this what the rest of my life is going to be like? You just give up. The more you are on the streets the more you give up…”
However, Tony began to seek out support through a local Drug Intervention Programme (DIP), which is where he met Rowena, his Case Manager at ARCH, a community support organisation in Wrexham. Rowena supported Tony and began to help him with the most essential of his needs – finding a secure home. Once the two of them managed to find suitable accommodation, Rowena applied to the Vicar’s Relief Fund for a grant of £340 to help fund a deposit so Tony could move in. And once the grant was made, Tony was able to do just that – after five years of homelessness, he could finally have a safe place to call home.
“I couldn’t believe it. I was in a dream. I had to keep pinching myself! To be back in a house, not have the elements on you, to actually be able to sit down and have a cup of tea or have something to eat, it was just brilliant.”