I was left homeless after a relationship breakdown and ended up on the streets. I knew quite a lot of people in Leamington but none of them could put me up. I didn't know where to go for support but I would walk round Leamington and eventually noticed the Salvation Army church. One Sunday, I just came in and the church put me in touch with the Way Ahead Project.
The Way Ahead Project (WAP) helped me by getting me in touch with the council; they found me a place to live in Wellesbourne because various medical conditions made me vulnerable and therefore a priority. After six months of living on the streets, I was really excited to have somewhere to live although I was still struggling with all that had happened to me.
The WAP continued to support me by helping me to furnish my new home and helping me to sort my debts out. I carried on using the drop-in regularly which helped with the loneliness; it was good to pop in for a cuppa and natter.
More than three years later, I still pop in when I can and particularly like to help with the WAP's garden. I am doing this sponsored shave to show my gratitude for all the WAP has done for me.
About The Way Ahead Project
The Salvation Army's Way Ahead Project (WAP)provides advice and practical support to the homeless and vulnerably housed, as well as those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, in Leamington Spa and the surrounding area.
Each month, over 100 people come to our drop-in centre for breakfast or to pick up food parcels; to use our shower and laundry facilities; to receive housing and benefits advice; to access phones and computers to help with job applications; and to join in our programme of activities such as cooking, gardening and art which help to combat the isolation, stress and loneliness of living on the streets.
We recognise that people can be homeless for many different reasons so we also provide a safe place to go for services that enable people to make the first step to get off the streets. We have close links with Detox and Rehab facilities and will support people through the process of becoming drug and alcohol free. We can also make referrals to emergency and longer term housing and will liaise with other agencies and utility companies to resolve issues that could lead to homelessness.