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Who We’ve Helped: Their Stories

Read real stories from people we have helped on their journey.

For obvious reasons we may have changed the person’s name just to protect their identity. We always ask for their consent before we publish their story.

We have helped a lot of people and continue to do so. Hopefully as you read these stories you will be inspired to get involved or help in any way you can.

What we do makes a difference…read all about it!

ABOUT US

three stickmen with arms around each other

The BCARS Journey
How we organise the support we give rough sleepers.

Sleepsafe Stories

Temporary sleepsafe shelter within a church in Bournemouth

Philip (47)
“It’s incredible what you guys have managed to do for me”

Philip, an American Air Force veteran, came to the UK for love. It didn’t work out and he ended up on the street hobbling on crutches. He came to the cold weather shelter run by the council (SWEP) who referred him to Sleepsafe. He’d lost his job, was not eligible for benefits, had no money and Border Force told him he had to leave the country.
45 people then got involved in various ways, providing: clothing; transport to the airport; covering his air fare after a request was made on social media; ensuring he was met at an airport in the United States and then taken to local veteran’s hospital. What a transformation: safe and surrounded by help!

Mary (42)
“It’s friendly and safe, 10 out of 10. Would be great if it ran during the summer as well.”

Mary, a Romanian single female, was employed doing agency work in a factory, this included a room to live in. Due to ill health, she lost her job and the room, and so was on streets drinking alcohol.

In Sleepsafe she began making important decisions. Mary didn’t want to claim benefits and was not eligible. But finding work was really tough. Mary has now got work and a room in a shared house, and is back in contact with her family.

Mary is currently being supported by a Buddy team; she recently had a birthday party with her new friends and has a smile back on her face.

tables and beds at Sleepsafe
handwritten thank you note to Sleepsafe
handwritten thank you note to Sleepsafe

How to help a rough sleeper story

Phil’s Story

I have been on & off the streets for 20 years. I remember leaving prison with £92 cash on me with no idea where to go. I got on a train and went to Brighton when I got off I visited every pub in the road leading down to the beach.

In the evening I curled up under the pier and dragged pebbles around me I wasn’t sure if I was going to wake up but that didn’t seem to matter to me at the time.

Thankfully I did wake up and I decided to try & find some help. I didn’t know where to go or what to do so I spoke to a Big issue seller. He told me what was available in the town.

I then met a faith based outreach team which I believe started me on my journey of faith as well. It saved my life I got clean & off the streets that was 10 years ago. If it wasn’t for that Big Issue seller knowing where I could get help I may not be here now.

My life has moved on I am in contact with my children I have a home and I’m getting married soon, amazing. I thank God for him looking after me all this time. I really want people to understand the importance of knowing what’s available in the town to help someone who is lost. It takes just 5 minutes to find out, surely anyone is worth 5 minutes of your time, I was. Thank you.