Emergency Accommodation

Our 24/7 centre on East Road consists of 20 private, en-suite bedrooms for emergency accommodation. This is often the first time we meet someone who is homeless and is a safe and secure place to begin to understand their needs and journey into homelessness.

 

Residents’ Stories

Harry

‘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 was a Cambridge and Oxford educated headmaster from a solid family, when unexpected events saw him on the streets of Cambridge. Harry spent the entire Summer of 2017 on the streets, feeling derelict, denounced and decrepit. Harry felt invisible sometimes ‘wanting to just sleep and not wake up again.’ This was until he found his way to Jimmy’s. Harry moved into our Assessment Centre after several months of rough sleeping, seeing it as a chance to start again and rebuild his life. With support from Jimmy’s, Harry was helped into supported housing, before he moved to his own flat. Thanks to our work, Harry has rebuilt his life and now lives independently as a part of the Cambridge community.

Louise

Jimmy’s has put me up on five or six occasions, and it’s almost a home from home. We have got the support to get us back on our feet, time to think and warm up. I’m here at the moment and hope in about six to seven weeks to be ready to go into one of the pods [independent accommodation] they’re building. They’ve put my name forward for that, which is going to be helpful toward my addictions and give me time to think more about where I’m going. I’ve recently stopped drinking for quite a long time, and I don’t really miss it.

There’s quite a few opportunities. A home can be where I find some direction and see what doors are open to me. But obviously, I will take it a little at a time because I’m still an addict. That will have its limitations.

How can I do it? I hope to get involved with the allotments that they’ve got and do some gardening. I’m really into insects and creepy crawlies. I’m really into gardening and wildlife. I studied insects quite a bit as child in the garden with Mum and Dad. I’m definitely a supporter of Greenpeace. I’d like maybe to do some field studies, checking out how creatures are doing, where the species is diminishing, seeing if we can help them recover. They’re doing quite a few things in the city at the minute, building insect lodges and letting areas grow wild, stuff like that, educating us and coming generations.

I hope for good health, somewhere safe to stay, and just doing what I can to possibly help others as I’ve been helped. The world’s your oyster. There’s just so many things you can do.

Victor

Victor is 36 and worked in customer retail for 15 years. He currently lives at Jimmy’s facility for overcoming alcohol dependency.

“About six or seven years ago, when I was diagnosed with depression, my doctor said one of the best things was to get outside and garden, but when I was homeless I had nowhere to do that. Now I can garden, get outside and talk to people again. Jimmy’s has been really helpful in getting me into a good place, where I can actually get on the horticultural course I’ve wanted to get on since before Covid.

As a job, I’m definitely ready to do gardening. It’s a nice job. I don’t mind getting my hands dirty. If there’s a load of weeds I can pull them out, no problem! I feel like once I get on this course I can start moving forward. It’s a big step for me.”

Cyrus

Cyrus is 25 and came to the UK with his immigrant family at two. Conflict over religion and culture at home and learning difficulties at school, led to mental health issues, excess drug use and a year on and off the streets.

“I had a few rough years, and by 23, and after all the drugs, I was broken basically. I made money but couldn’t keep it. If you had spoken to me then, I was a different person, but I’ve cleaned myself now. I’ve learned to keep my mind busy and as long as I keep my mind busy, I’m good.

I’ll be moving out of Jimmy’s into a hostel next month. Once I’m there the next stage is council housing. As well as a business, it’d be nice to get a girlfriend. I guess I would do what any man tries to do, start a family: that’s joy, that’s joy.”

Peter

Peter, 63, was a retail manager for 20 years, but lost his job and house in the 2008 crisis.

“You just live normally here. You do what you want and have sessions with your key worker to sort out any problems.

What do I look forward to? At the moment, it’s getting that home, then making a new start. Jimmy’s has these pods now. It’s independent living with your own front door. That’s where I’m hoping to go.

I’m usually quite free most of the week on my own. On Wednesdays I busk. Hopefully I’ll get back into work again – retail I think, probably a part-time job. I’m one of the lucky ones.”