Life was crazy. When I was younger I got involved with the wrong crowd, I started partying and raving and screwed a lot of things up.
I had issues with drink and drugs so I moved to a different area to start a new life; that’s when I moved to Surrey.
I ended up living with Transform in Woking. At the time I was in a relationship, so I eventually moved on from Transform and moved in with my girlfriend. Unfortunately we broke up and I ended up homeless and living on the streets.
It was January so it was really cold, I genuinely felt like I was going to die. I went to the local council to ask for help. I’d wait in the office during the day, but I’d have to leave at night so I would do a bit of Bear Grylls and find a bush to sleep in to try and keep myself warm. One day, a lady from the council told me about the Transform Winter Shelter.
"If it wasn’t for Transform I’d probably still be on the streets or god knows where."
I was surprised at how nice the shelter was. On my first night I was on my own but for the next few days I shared with other people, but it was fine. The staff were great, they helped me a lot and they always cooked me breakfast in the morning. The week after I was there, the shelter was going to be closing and I had nowhere to go once it closed. I spoke to a member of staff and asked them if there was any way they could help me find somewhere to live, the guy said he’d look into it, and a couple of days later they said they’d found me somewhere! My keyworker took me to my flat. When I saw I had my own room and kitchen I couldn’t believe it. It’s the best place I’ve ever lived.
The support I’ve had from my keyworker has been brilliant. I am dyslexic, so I really struggle with filling out forms, phone calls and stuff. My keyworker has helped me sort out my debt, my bills, and she’s helping me look for a course to improve my reading.
In the future I would really like to work as a tree surgeon. I know the steps I need to take to get there, it’s going to be hard but that’s life – if you give up then its game over.
If it wasn’t for Transform I’d probably still be on the streets or god knows where. When I got my flat it was like a weight off my shoulders.
Life is like a rollercoaster, you go up and down, up and down, but thanks to Transform I’m getting back on track. When you’re down low you just don’t want to put anything into it and then when you get help and move in to a new place, I feel like I’m back to where I used to be. I’m happy.
Steve is not his real name.