Damian's story: "Porchlight made me feel that I can get through this"
We helped him overcome homelessness and exploitation
Damian became homeless because he was a victim of modern slavery. We helped him escape the streets and rebuild his life.
After his relationship broke down, Damian was was forced to work for no pay by people who took advantage of his vulnerability.
“They offered me a job and somewhere to live. Months went by and they still hadn’t paid me… by the time I realised what was happening I had no money and felt stuck in the situation.”
Damian eventually escaped the situation, but with no money he was forced to sleep on the streets.
“It was cold and wet, and I got sick. I had no energy because I couldn’t eat properly and I became depressed. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to find another job, but my health was getting worse and without money to travel there was nothing I could do.”
Helping when no one else would
When your focus is on day-to-day survival, finding and accessing the right kind of support can feel extremely challenging.
Damian was struggling to get help and felt let down. A call to Porchlight’s helpline turned things around.
“When you’re homeless, you don’t know where to turn or who to speak to. That changed when Porchlight got involved and I met my support worker Paul.
"We met regularly and I could call or text at any time with questions I had. It made me feel that I could get through this.
“Paul found me a room in a local hostel. Having my own space with a hot shower and food felt brilliant. I could finally get into a regular sleeping routine and register with a doctor and dentist to sort out my health.”
A brighter future
Now Damian is back on his feet, he is looking to work again. Paul helped him gain funding for a construction qualification.
“I feel positive and excited for the future. I’m looking forward to working a 9 – 5 job again that will allow me to see my children at weekends.
“I’m planning to make a donation to Porchlight when I’m in the position to do so. I’ve seen first-hand the help and support they give. In a short space of time, they turned my life around.”