You are here:

Paul's story

Paul came to The Salvation Army, hoping for something to eat. But we gave him much more.

‘When you opened your door to me, you saved my life’

We first met 29-year-old Paul when he came to one of our winter night shelters for homeless people. He was cold, filthy and seriously undernourished.

Only a year before that, he had everything he could possibly want in life – a job, a home and a loving fiancée. But a series of terrible personal misfortunes led to him losing control of his life and ending up sleeping rough on the street.

female support worker + client at door of lifehouse

It all began when his fiancée was killed in a shocking car accident. It triggered a deep depression in Paul. He lost his job and with no money coming in, he could no longer pay for his flat and was forced out onto the streets, sleeping on park benches and in shop doorways.

We helped Paul to grieve for his lost fiancée, but also to understand that he still has a life to live. Now, with our help, he has moved on from our Lifehouse to a flat. It’s been a struggle to rebuild his self-confidence, but he feels ready now to re-start his life and is actively looking for jobs.

Paul is an example of how anyone can be homeless. But he is also an example of how The Salvation Army can help people rebuild their lives.

  • £30 could provide one hour of support work for three homeless people who are trying to make a fresh start in life.
  • £45 could pay for a weekly luncheon club so 20 lonely older people can enjoy lunch and friendship at a Salvation Army community centre.
  • £100 could help pay the cost of running a parent-and-toddler group for a month for vulnerable families.

Please make a donation to our ‘keep our doors open’ appeal today using our simple, secure online donation form

Alternatively you can call us on 020 7367 4800, email us on or download our postal donation form

The case study reflects the true stories of people that we help every day. The name has been changed and a model used in the photograph to protect the privacy of the people concerned.