A lot of the small grants that we provide allow people who have been homeless to get a new set of clothes.
Sometimes rough sleepers can arrive at a scheme with nothing but the clothes on their backs. New items of clothing help provide a fresh start and a mental boost, as well as much-needed comfort.
Alex moved into a hostel following a relationship breakdown, and his support worker says that he had very low self-esteem. He also suffers from depression and anxiety-related personality disorders.
The clothes he had would not have lasted him the winter months, but a Church Housing Trust grant allowed him to buy some jumpers, trousers and new underwear. He was so grateful, he wrote us a thank you letter.
“To Church Housing Trust,
Just a quick note to say thank you for the £70. When I was homeless I lost most of my clothes and the £70 you gave me enabled me to buy a few items to get me started. It meant a lot to me as I’m trying to build my life again.
He is far from the only person who has benefitted from some new clothes:
Warren* moved into a hostel after he was attacked and stabbed four times by an unknown assailant. He spent two weeks in hospital being treated for a punctured lung and shock, and is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Only 28 years old, he lived in Dartford all his life, although we don’t know how long he had been sleeping rough for.
He has no warm winter shoes, and will also need a warm overcoat and new underwear, as his own have worn out. His support worker can now ensure he gets these, as well as new jogging bottoms and a pair of hard-wearing jeans.
Tom* had been in care since he was six years old after being abandoned in hospital following a serious car accident. He was in a coma for nearly two years and had to have several reconstructive surgeries.
As a result, he suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, severe depression, and feelings of abandonment and rejection. When his most recent relationship broke down, he was made to leave the property without his belongings. His ex and her new partner destroyed his clothes.
He cannot afford to replace them, and some new things to wear will help him to move on from his difficult relationship as he rebuilds his life.
Jonas*, only 20 years old, came to a hostel we support after four years of homelessness. He has a history of cannabis misuse, suffers from depression, and has very low self-esteem.
He only owned a pair of jeans, three t-shirts, and some holey jogging bottoms, and desperately needed new underwear, socks, t-shirts, and trousers. His support worker says the new clothes greatly improved the way he thinks and feels on a daily basis.
*Names have been changed to protect identity.