“Everyone was just walking past her. She looked unconscious, sat on the pavement with her face down in her bag. I couldn’t just do nothing …” says Ryan, remembering the young woman he saw in Newcastle city centre a few months ago. “She wasn’t homeless. She needed help though.”
Ryan, 22, was living at our 58:7 Project at the time. Established after the pandemic, 58:7 is our same-day emergency accommodation project, for men experiencing homelessness.
“No one seemed to be doing anything. I thought, we can’t just wait for someone. I saw two police officers and ran over to them, I told them they had to come and see her. They said that they weren’t medically trained, but I thought it was better that she had someone sit with her – and they went over.
“Thankfully an ambulance arrived shortly afterwards.”
Ryan knows the value of someone who is there to help. He explains, “The past four months has been one of the longest stretches of stability that I’ve had since I was 14.
Ryan continues: “I spent two months in 58:7, it’s just meant to be for a few weeks, but I needed it. And now I’m in one of the charity’s Basis Beds flats.
“At 14 I started staying with friends but in the last 8 years, I’ve had at least 8 different houses, 8 different changes all over the place.”
The last year has been particularly hard for Ryan. But every day he gets up and keeps going, and hoping it’ll keep getting better.
He’s not sure what happened to the young woman he saw in the street that day, but he hopes she’s OK.