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Everton

Everton

Everton had been living in the same privately rented home since 1991 when he became homeless last year.

“I was in my flat for 24 years and sometime I wake up and think it’s a dream, but it’s not a dream, it’s reality.”

Everton suffers a complex range of medical problems including cirrhosis of the liver, a serious skin condition and anxiety and depression. In the spring of 2015 he had to be admitted to hospital for surgery and was in hospital as an inpatient for some time recovering after the operation. During this time Everton fell behind with his rent and after being discharged from hospital he was evicted from his home.

“Having seen homeless people on the streets many times it never occurred to me that it could happen to me. My eviction was caused by spending time in hospital. I was not allowed to leave the building which caused arrears in my rent. The Bailiffs came and changed the locks and told me to leave at once. I managed to grab a few things I thought I’d need on the streets.”

The rest of Everton’s personal belongings, collected over many years in his home, were thrown into a skip. Everton thought he would have time to go back and collect some of his things but the landlord threw everything away. His passport, birth certificate, school reports, photo albums and furniture were all gone. When this happened Everton says he was “so horrified with anxiety and stress that I did not know what to do.”

After he was evicted Everton walked the streets looking for somewhere he could stay.

“I was still on medication and under hospital care. Having spent days on my feet looking for somewhere to stay I contracted cellulitis and found myself unable to walk. I ended up in hospital again with no recollection of how I got there.”

After leaving hospital for the second time, Everton approached his local authority and was placed in temporary accommodation. But after several months he was evicted again after being found to be to be non-priority. Everton had no option but to return to the streets.

One morning Everton was found rough sleeping outside a church by outreach workers. They referred him into the No Second Night Out assessment hub in Lewisham. Staff at NSNO helped Everton to challenge the local authority’s non-priority decision. NSNO successfully argued that Everton’s medical problems make him particularly vulnerable and the local authority accepted a full duty to provide Everton with housing. He’s now in temporary accommodation awaiting a move on into longer term accommodation.

“I had begun to feel empty and lost with no sense of direction. I was saved by the No Second Night Out team. I had been in a daze, not knowing what was happening. I was at the mercy of this team of people who helped me to get back on my feet.

NSNO went all the way to make me feel comfortable and at home. I would like to thank all the staff at No Second Night Out for their help and guidance and for their concern about my welfare.”