When he came out of prison, Ray was determined to start his life again, but he needed support.
“After being in prison I came out to nothing. My family had turned their backs on me, and I felt like I had lost everything.
“I survived by sofa surfing. I also slept in a car, which was freezing. I don’t think I have ever been so cold in all of my life.
“I was homeless for a few months, but it felt like forever. It was a terrible experience.”
Ray arrived at a homelessness service with nothing, but was able to get the support he needed to make a fresh start.
He was ready to move into his own home, but it was unfurnished. Ray was not able to save much, and the flat was completely bare.
Church Homeless Trust gave him a grant so that he could afford basic items to help him settle in.
He was able to cover his first week’s rent and buy plates, bedding, and a toaster.
Most important to him is having a comfortable place that his 13 year old daughter can visit.
He says: “I feel like I have a new lease of life. My new place feels like home.”