Harry's Story

Harry (Jimmy's Resident)

I was born in Finland, purely because my mother happened to be there, and lived there for 3 days until we returned to England.

I was, I suppose a privileged child from a good sold family – I was a cathedral chorister and went to very good schools. After school, I continued my study at both Oxford and Cambridge universities and became a headmaster.

Not a typical pathway to the streets I guess, but things happen, and that is where I found myself in the summer of 2017 – gravitating back to Cambridge, a place I knew and felt I could ‘disappear’ in. The feeling was of complete inconsequentiality. I felt invisible – sometimes wanting to just sleep and not wake again: ‘He that sleeps, feels not the toothache’ as Shakespeare so succinctly put it l - helped by keeping my head down and managing to find somewhere to sleep which was hidden from view. Luckily, it was a warm summer which helped a lot. Still, If I could give three words to describe the feelings of being on the street, they would be , Derelict, Denounced and Decrepit; nobody, but still knowing I was somebody.

I moved into Jimmy’s assessment in August of 2017, realising that this was now the chance to start again. In September I was moved into a Jimmy’s move on House, where I lived until being offered a self-contained flat where I am now.

I would never have imagined this life, that someone like me could end up street homeless, reliant on the kindness and support of others; but without Jimmy’s I do not know where I would be now. They took me from street to shelter to house to home.

Today will be a better day and the future is open again.

Harry's name has been changed to protect his identity.

We Are Observing Social Distance: Photo by Byronv2 on Flickr