Furniture for homeless people

Having reached crisis point in London, Jack made his way to Bristol at which point he says he decided to turn his life around. “When you are on the streets, people look right through you. You are invisible to them. They look away, but in some ways, I was grateful. I wanted to be invisible. I didn’t want people to see me.”

On his first night in Bristol, Jack was given a crash course in surviving on the streets from some of the city’s regular rough sleepers. “They told me where to find an air vent for some warmth. I remember lying on the street and thinking, enough is enough. I waited until the nearest shopping centre opened so I could go wash my face, I looked in the mirror and I didn’t recognise the man I had become.”

I remember lying on the street and thinking, enough is enough

Jack eventually found his way to Alan Goddard, co-founder of Changing Lives. He supported Jack in getting off the streets and once Jack had his life together, Alan offered him a job. “I can’t thank Alan enough. Without him, I’m not sure where I’d be right now. I might not be alive, ” says Jack.

Jack reveals he has now been clean for eight years and works refurbishing and upcycling furniture at Changing Lives. Though his own situation has improved vastly, Jack worries about people in similar positions. Across England, agencies working with homeless people have expressed concern about the impact of insecure tenancies, rising rents, benefits cuts and shortages of affordable housing in many parts of the country.

“With the cuts to homeless services, the work we do becomes even more important, ” says Jack. “When you are on the streets you feel like you have no purpose. No reason to get up in the morning. Nowhere to be. Charities like Changing Lives can give you a light at the end of a horrendously dark tunnel. They literally changed my life.”

More than 500 miles away in Northern Ireland, East Belfast Mission (EBM) works to alleviate deprivation in an area where one in five children grows up in poverty. Funded by donations, the social enterprise not only sells low cost furniture and employs more than 100 staff, but also offers counselling services to those suffering from mental health problems such as depression or anxiety.

EBM helped Natasha find a home and furnish it. “The help I’ve received has been really life changing since I’d have felt helpless and lost without this support, ” she says. “The move would have been a real challenge but with the newfound confidence I’d received from having a real home to live in, I feel ready to start out on a new direction in 2017.”

Emmaus Leeds is part of the wider Emmaus community that operates all over the country providing support to homeless people by selling secondhand furniture to support their shelters. Among those to have been helped by Emmaus Leeds is Alistair.

“About five years ago I lost my job and then three weeks later, out of the blue, my other half lost her job, ” he tells Positive News. “It wasn’t bad at the start because we had savings but the pressure of us both being in that situation soon became too much. We were arguing day after day and eventually our relationship fell apart.

“With no place to go, I turned to my local council for help but there was nothing. I came to nearby Leeds thinking ‘big city, more help’. I slept rough for a few weeks at Leeds train station and one of the guys I met there told me about Emmaus.”

To be able to get up, throw myself at work and not watch TV all day long, was just what I needed

Luckily for Alistair, a room was available on the day he arrived at Emmaus Leeds. For a year and a half, he took on the role as community assistant there, working with computer data and running the charity’s market stalls and shop. He now has a job working in stock management for a supermarket chain – and lives in his own flat.

“If you ask me what I enjoyed most about Emmaus, I’d have to say the work. It was the work that kept me going – something to get up for every morning.

“When I first arrived, I’d just split up with my wife and wasn’t in a good place at all. To be able to get up, throw myself at work and not watch TV all day long, was just what I needed. That’s what I enjoyed the most.”


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3dRose LLC 3dRose cst_201957_2 Camping Where You Spend a Small Fortune Live Like a Homeless Person Soft Coaster (Set of 8)
Home (3dRose LLC)
  • Dimensions (in Inch): 3.5 H x 3.5 W x 1/4 D
  • Comes in a set of 8 - same image on all coasters
  • Washable - to prevent image from fading clean with mild detergent using cool water
  • Absorbs moisture
  • Made of recycled rubber
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Furniture (old-print)
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Furniture (old-print)
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Hobo Hammocks Hobo Hammocks Portable Double Camping Hammock (Webbing Straps And Carabiners Included For Hanging) Blue And Gray Parachute Nylon
Sports (Hobo Hammocks)
  • FEED THE HOMELESS - When you buy yourself a Hobo Hammock, we provide 1 meal to the homeless, so your purchase helps yourself AND the homeless!
  • READY FOR ADVENTURE - Arrives on your doorstep with hanging straps and carabiners included, so you can start hanging the moment your hammock arrives!
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND COMPACT - Thanks to the ultralight parachute nylon, the whole setup weighs under 2 lbs and packs down to only 5 inches around by 8 inches tall!
  • SUPER STRENGTH - These heavy duty suckers are durable! Tested up to 540 lbs without any problems at all, so you can hang with a couple friendsor your llama!
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY - If you ever have any problems with your hammock, send it back and we will refund or replace it FOR FREE for any reason!
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Furniture (old-print)
  • Old Original Antique Victorian Print
  • Antique Print
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