“Rather than being unseen and being homeless, I’m now being seen.”

After losing his son Davey spiralled into homelessness.

From having his tent burned to the ground whilst rough sleeping in Gateshead to journeying out of homelessness, in his darkest hours Davey found hope.

A spiral into homelessness

Davey was in full-time employment before he became homeless.

His life began to take a turn when his marriage broke down. Distraught and lonely, Davey turned to alcohol to escape during the times where he felt depressed.

Alcohol misuse, which quickly became his coping mechanism, began to take over and became less and less manageable. Things became a lot worse when Davey lost his job.

He did his upmost to manage the situation, but things became even more difficult when he received the tragic news that his son had lost his life.

Five years of trying to come to terms with the death of his son and his situation followed with little to no support. This spiralled into homelessness in October 2018 after Davey lost his flat.

Rough sleeping

With nowhere to call home Davey slept in a tent on unused wasteland.

Within three months of sleeping rough Davey’s tent was burned to the ground. Cold, alone and with the fear of another attack on what little possessions he had, Davey slept on the streets for another three years.

During the nine months of the Covid-19 lockdown Davey was still rough sleeping in Gateshead.

The Journey out of homelessness

It was at our Basis Gateshead homeless drop-in centre where Davey found hope – here his journey out of homelessness began.

On his first visit, Davey met Sally, one of our support workers, who he began to work with.

Davey was able to set up a bank account and direct debits with support from Sally and the team, which then allowed him to re-associate with his doctor. He was also given a mobile phone which he used to contact relevant services.

Basis Gateshead homeless drop-in centre provided a community for Davey – a hub from which he had someone to talk to.

Despite now having a place of his own Davey regularly visits the drop-in to wash his clothes and keep in touch with staff. It’s this sense of community within our projects that is so important.

As well as popping in for a cuppa everyone so often, Davey even gets involved in the direction of the charity by attending meetings as part of the co-production group – a group of people that we support who discuss ways in which we can improve as a charity.

He explained that his involvement in the group is “making me a better person because it’s enhanced my own socials circles and I’m making more friends.”

“Rather than being homeless and being unseen, I’m now being seen”