I had worked as a refuse collector for 16 years, but was made redundant at Christmas time.
I had been living with my partner for twenty years, but when she died the house was left to her family. I was forced to find alternative accommodation, renting a room in a shared house. When I lost my job, I couldn’t pay the rent and needed to leave the house.
I’d always worked, so was unaware of the benefits that might be available. I was unable to get help from the council as I wasn’t considered a priority. I ended up sofa surfing and sleeping rough for several weeks before I eventually turned to the Citizens Advice, who called Rentstart*.
I went to Rentstart’s offices. They were really helpful and even bought me food, as I hadn’t eaten for a while. Rentstart got in touch with Walton Charity, as they had a room available in one of their shared houses. Within a couple of days, I’d moved into my room.
Finally I had a secure place to live while I looked for work to help me become independent again.
*Elmbridge Rentstart, a registered charity who assist single people and childless couples on low income to access accommodation in the private rented sector. For more information www.elmbridgerentstart.org.uk