Borderline

Supporting Homeless Scots in London

Charlie’s story

Charlie was born in Edinburgh and spent most of his childhood in care. As a young adult, he began using heroin to suppress memories of the abuse he suffered as a child. In 2015, he came to London to work in construction, holding down a job for several years. However, following the loss of his job in 2017, which also provided his accommodation, he began sleeping rough.

Charlie was eager to regain employment, but with the stress of losing his job and sleeping rough, he relapsed on heroin. Things spiralled out of control and Charlie found it difficult to engage with services as he was in the grips of opiate dependency.

The Scottish Outreach Worker regularly visited Charlie on the street and over a long period of time engaged with him to explore housing options, register with his local GP and sign up for benefits, all whilst providing harm minimisation advice around substance use. Eventually, Charlie gained accommodation at Hopkinson House in August 2018 where he is now being supported on the road to recovery.

Borderline provided Charlie with a clothing and resettlement grant which has enabled him to purchase items for his room and will support him to sustain his tenancy. Charlie describes the help he received as crucial for him and his recovery. He now sees this accommodation as a platform for him to return to work and fully recover from street homelessness and his opiate dependency.