"I started coming to the Centre as I needed something to eat and drink. I became homeless after I sold my house. While I still had some money from it I was fine, but when it ran out I had nowhere to go. I didn’t have a GP or benefits and I was just walking the streets.
It took me a while to get used to coming to the Centre but they began to ask me what help I needed and suggested how I could get some accommodation. I am now registered with a local doctor, am receiving benefits and have somewhere to live, as well as being in touch with a mental health worker. I feel healthier and the activities provided at the Centre have rekindled my interest in the arts. I am doing more things for enjoyment, and the other people who come to the Centre are nice.
I am doing a number of courses at the Centre but what I would particularly like to do is to learn the guitar. I am quite keen to go and do courses at other places. Ultimately I would like to live overseas one day. My short term goal is to buy a guitar, as my music is really important to me. At the moment the most urgent thing would be to buy a CD player and radio. My flat is really quiet and empty."
Update: We bought Neil a CD/radio and Matt has given him some CDs. We are currently looking to provide a guitar for Neil in time for the start of the beginners guitar class at Back On Track, an Adult Education Centre on Swan Street.
Thank you to all the people that have given permission for us to share their stories. Names and some details have been changed to protect anonymity.