Brian’s story

This is Brian’s story

Brian is 65 and has been a Reading resident for 35 years. He has been homeless many times over many years.  

Brian had an extremely difficult early family life. For a long time he was resilient to the challenges he face, but in 2022, things became too much for Brian and he accepted that he needed help.

“After living a very chaotic lifestyle for a long time, things came to a head for me in early in 2022. At that point, if I wasn’t supported by Launchpad I don’t know where I’d be now. 

“I woke up in a car park with rats crawling over me. Can you imagine how that felt?  This was my lowest point – the final straw. I was really, really, really down. I am a proud man. But that was just too much. I knew that I needed some help at that point. 

Sofa surfing

“As a younger man I could cope with the challenges of homelessness. When you’re homeless, drink, drugs and the threat of violence are never far away. Back then I could cope with the instability that comes with sofa surfing or sleeping rough for years on end.

“I’m older now, 65 and my health has been deteriorating for some time. I’ve been off the drugs for two years, but I am still drinking – to cope with how I feel.  When you’re homeless, drink doesn’t help, but it does also help. Do you know what I mean?”

Brian’s first contact with Launchpad was with the Floating Support team, in February 2022. They quickly referred him to the charity’s Supported Housing team.

Stability

“This was the best thing that has happened to me for a long time. The Launchpad team have brought some stability to my life, initially through moving me into their Supported Accommodation. Whilst I was in temporary accommodation, they (Launchpad) also helped me to apply for my full benefit entitlement. This has ensured I can afford to pay my bills and keep a roof over my head.

“My Launchpad support officer has been amazing, I can’t tell you how much he has changed my life for the better. With his help, I’ve also been able to access counselling. I hope that now I have a place to call home and the support of a counsellor, that I will be able to focus on my drinking problem.

New home

“I’m now living in Reading Borough Council’s sheltered accommodation. I’m moving on from Launchpad’s short-term support programme into a much longer-term home. My home – I love my room. I have my own space, my own TV, my own bed. It’s been a long time since I could say that.”

Launchpad’s life-changing work, as outlined in Brian’s story, can only happen with the help of our supporters. Without the funds you donate, it is likely that Brian would still be sleeping rough.

If you donate to Launchpad, thank you, we are very grateful to have your support. If you would like to find out about how you can donate to Launchpad, please call our fundraising team on 0118 950 7656.

* To help protect the privacy of those we help names have been changed

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