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6 June, 2024

Jerry’s story: ready for a fresh start but with nowhere to go

Just imagine…

You’ve struggled with addiction since your teens.

You lost everything, became homeless, got support, went through rehab.

After years of commitment and hard work you’re managing your addiction.

You’re finally ready for your fresh start and a second chance at life.

But… there is nowhere for you to go.

That is what happened to Jerry*, a resident at Homeless Oxfordshire.

“I was meant to stay with Homeless Oxfordshire for around eight or nine months after rehab. But there was no suitable housing available. I ended up staying for 21 months – a year longer than expected. I couldn’t believe how long it took to bid for properties. I was ready to leave but couldn’t go. I found it very frustrating.

It meant my treatment journey was extended. Luckily I was in a good place with my recovery and have now been accepted for a new tenancy.

If I wasn’t doing well I think it would have set me back massively. A year is a long time for someone with addiction challenges.”

We support people to overcome barriers and work towards making a fresh start. But when the social housing they need isn’t available delays can be very difficult to cope with.

Every day we see delays impacting negatively on:

  • Mental and physical health
  • Depression and anxiety levels
  • Likelihood of alcohol and substance use
  • Likelihood of self-sabotaging behaviour
  • Support worker/resident relationships


Delays to people getting the housing they need means local services like Homeless Oxfordshire have to bridge the gap with the wider system paying the price.

Currently approximately 20% of our residents are ready for their own tenancy but can’t move on. General housing waiting lists are on average more than two years long. As a charity we rely on donations and in 2024 we need to raise £500k in additional funds to continue supporting everyone who needs us.

Donate to Homeless Oxfordshire here.

*Although the story is true, the resident’s name and image have been changed to protect their anonymity.

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