“Scots looking after the Scottish in London, you can’t beat it” January 12, 2017, 8:00 am
“Being homeless was the worst thing that ever happened to me”
Charity for homeless Scots in London denied funding for second year
Scott Macdonald moved to London in 2005 after his dad died having spent some time in the city previously, aged 18.
He worked as a coach driver, but in 2015 it all went wrong.
His private rental flat was condemned following health and safety checks and he found himself homeless.
“I remember my first three nights on the streets,” says the 46-year-old from Grangemouth. “I was terrified.
“I just had to keep telling myself where I came from, who I was and what I could do.”
He was homeless for 11 months until his case was referred to Alex Lavin, Borderline’s Scottish outreach worker, after he dropped in at a day centre in north London.
“The first thing Alex did was buy me a phone and put some credit on it,” he says.
“You have no idea how much that means to somebody who has had no contact with anyone for such a long, long time.”
The charity, which pays for a number of beds a year at the YMCA, got him in there and ultimately into one of the My Pads, accommodation in converted shipping containers.
Rent is £75 a week and clients must agree to save a certain amount each month.
Mr Macdonald adds: “Since then, my life has got a lot better. I was nine stone when I came in, there was nothing of me.
“I was disgusted when I saw myself. But six months later I’m ready to go back to work.”
As well as help from Borderline, ScotsCare has funded his driver certificate of professional competence (CPC) card and medical, among other things he needs to be able to return to his former profession.