Little did I know, I didn't have a home to go back to. No one had let my landlord know that I was in hospital and they thought I had done a runner and had evicted me.
Big Issue vendor Julie faced challenges in her life that many of us might struggle to overcome. Family tragedies led to extreme emotional difficulties, relationship breakdown, ill health and a terrifying life on the streets.
It's terrifying being homeless and a lot more challenging as a woman. There are fewer women sleeping rough, but most are addicts. There are politics to the streets and you don't realise but you could be sitting or sleeping in the wrong place and you will get beaten for it. Its tougher than you can imagine.
Julie's story is not unfamiliar. At the acute end of poverty there are many serious challenges including homelessness, addiction and mental illness and many Big Issue vendors suffer from the effects of these and much more.
Julie joined The Big Issue and gained a whole new group of friends and forged a new life for herself. Our team of service brokers helped her to find a way off the streets and into a new job at Southampton Football Club.
I'm grateful for what The Big Issue and The Big Issue Foundation have done for me. They've helped me get my life back on track. By supporting The Big Issue Foundation, you are opening new avenues for people to reclaim their lives. You may see us as homeless or vendors, but your support may see us cross paths in the future in an entirely different capacity.
A gift today will directly support our vendor support services prevent repeated homelessness, enabling access to support services and building brighter futures.