Stories

 

At HARP, we believe that with the right combination of shelter, support and educational, confidence boosting activities everyone has a good chance of overcoming homelessness. We help everyone who walks through our doors to address any issues that might surround their homelessness and help them get back on their feet again. Here are just a few stories from some of the people we have helped...

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UPDATED: Having just moved out of HARP accommodation and into her own council flat, Marie has an important message for others who are struggling with homelessness and additional complex needs: "Don't give up!"

Lindsey came to HARP following a rollercoaster journey that started with a violent sexual assault which triggered severe mental illness. Like many who end up on the streets, Lindsey’s journey is a complex one.

After escaping abusive relationships and overcoming alcohol addiction, Vicky came to HARP and has been staying at our single gender hostel, White Heather House. She’s now ready to move into her own home.

HARP staff and formerly homeless man
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Now a valued member of staff, Matthew's journey with HARP began after he found himself rough sleeping. Matt has overcome some huge battles - including addiction - to get to where he is today. He's now inspiring others to do the same.

“One night, he got really mad at me and he called me a lot of names, and then pushed me against the wall. I got really scared but he said he was sorry and he’d never do it again – but it only became more frequent”. 

Darren has a history of mental health issues, addiction, and self-harm. After a childhood riddled with abuse, he has self-medicated for many years. But now, with support, he’s making great strides forward.

Paul was evicted from his home in Spain following the death of his mother. He then came home to the UK, only for his health to deteriorate -  “if I didn’t have a room at HARP I would have been discharged to the streets.”

“I was so negative about Christmas. I thought to myself, what am I going to do? Christmas day on the street or in a squat with no gas or electricity? But, thanks to HARP, I got a nice bed and a lovely meal."

John spent nearly ten years working and living out of a van before coming to HARP. Now, he is making great progress towards a new life away from the streets and along the way has discovered a passion for poetry and art through our meaningful activities.

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Formerly homeless man helped by HARP Southend
Formely homeless woman helped by HARP Southend

After ten years of working whilst being homeless, the long hours and unstable accommodation took their toll on David, before a serious lung condition forced him out of work.

Jay, a civil engineer from Rochford, became homeless at the end of last year. After being referred by HARP to the Church Winter Night Shelters and then moving on to HARP accommodation, Jay has accessed the support he needed to overcome homelessness.

Marie came to HARP when she found herself homeless after spending time in a mental health hospital. Marie has overcome addiction and issues with her mental health and is now supporting female residents at HARP as a volunteer.

Formerly homeless man helped by HARP Southend
Formerly homeless woman helped by HARP Southend
Formerly homeless man helped by HARP Southend
Homeless man helped by HARP Southend
Formerly homeless woman helped by HARP Southend
Homeless man and HARP Southend staff laugh

Ron spent thirty years between the streets and night shelters before coming to HARP. Now, in safe and secure HARP accommodation, Ron is taking important steps towards overcoming homelessness for good.

After coming out of an abusive relationship and making the heart-breaking decision to move her daughter into foster care, Julie's mental health spiralled and she found herself on the streets. But now with HARP's help, she is turning her life around.

Tony spent time with the army, where he experienced situations which led to post-traumatic stress. On leaving the army, he struggled to settle and soon became homeless. Now with the support of HARP, Tony is working towards beating homelessness.

Formerly homeless man helped by HARP Southend
Formerly homeless man helped by HARP Southend
HARP residents, Southend Mayor, Councillors and police help clean Southend

After spending ten months on the streets, Andy came to HARP for help where he has, in his own words, "a new found security" and has been engaging in our meaningful activities.

After falling out with his mum and staying at a bed & breakfast, Robert found himself on the streets - until he found HARP. Through the help of his keyworker and support sessions, Robert has been taking steps to a new life away from the streets.

Keith moved back to England for help, after his finances and mental health got the better of him. He soon found HARP who helped him turn his life around and discover a new passion for gardening, which he is now pursuing as a career.

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Registered Charity Number: 1098126

HARP is a registered provider of social housing number: 4742

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