"Sunderland Move On has given me the chance to turn my life around."

After spending most of his life in and out of prison, 40-year-old John* was rough sleeping and often found himself relying on other people to provide a safe space to spend the night.

Sunderland Move On

2 Sep 2022

John was referred to Thirteen's Sunderland Move on scheme in March this year, a scheme that provides support for homeless people in Sunderland.

Here John shares the difference this has made to his life:

After being released from prison, it’s often difficult to find accommodation. Because of this, I would find myself committing crime so that I could go back to prison and have a roof over my head.

“I knew that this cycle couldn’t continue and that I had to break away from these bad habits.

“I was referred to the Sunderland Move On scheme in March this year. The scheme supports people over 18 who are faced with homelessness, in the Sunderland area. 

“They have supported me with my emotional wellbeing, accessing benefits, budgeting advice and my physical health.

“But most of all, they’ve given me a safe space to call my own. I’ve never had that before.

“I meet with my support worker every week to maintain my accommodation and create new good habits.

“My confidence is growing and I’m learning new skills all time, how to budget, how to pay my bills, how to look after my home.

“Sunderland Move On has given me the chance to turn my life around when I lost hope. I have my own safe space. The staff are always here to help and support me when I need it and I can’t thank them enough. I have gone from living a lifestyle of committing crimes and taking drugs to living a new life, with my own accommodation. I have new hope for the future.”

*Names have been changed for privacy