At 49, Andy was comfortable in his life in Worcestershire with a good job, a house, and a wife and daughter. 3 months later he was out of work, at the start of a divorce and homeless. After returning to Hemel Andy found a temporary job, and when his contract ended the council placed him and his daughter in an emergency accommodation flat. When life seemed to be settled again for Andy, the council decided that since he still had equity in a house he wasn’t entitled to housing benefit, and so would have to sell the house. As Andy’s ex-wife was living there and suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, Andy refused to sell and was given three days notice to leave his council property.
With his daughter living with his parents, Andy himself was left alone and with nowhere to go.
When he was sleeping in a skip and feeling at his lowest point, a friend recommended that Andy visit DENS. When he arrived, he told his sad story to a support worker, where upon he was given a bed, a meal and a shower, as well as the promise that he would receive all the further help available through DENS. After he’d finished his maximum stay, Andy had to leave and he bought a tent to sleep in. Having found a new job, Andy faced the problem of having nowhere to keep his luggage and having to carry it with him to work. While the situation with his house meant that he couldn’t have a full place at DENS, Andy was offered a bed whenever there was one free, and a place to keep his belongings during the day. DENS continued to support Andy with food and use of the shower facilities, as well as help with his deposit and advice on finding accommodation.
“Every single person that gives up their own personal time for DENS is a truly unique and fabulous person. Each one of them has a welcoming smile and not one ever judges. Without the help of DENS I honestly believe my depression would have spiralled down further and I may have possibly reached a point that I wouldn’t have wanted to return from. In other words I truly believe that DENS saved my life.”