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Leon's Story

Library scene

Leon lost his temporary contract as a Housing Support Officer at around the same he was served notice by his landlady. Without money for a deposit and high rents he became part of East London's hidden homeless.

Leon moved to Bow last year to be closer to the job he had started as a support work assistant for a supported housing association. He was initially on a temporary contract, renewed for a further three months, but then terminated as staff were not retained when the service was transferred to a new provider. This was shortly before Leon became homeless after his landlady served notice on all the tenants in his building, and immediately started major rebuilding work.

 "The construction work went on seven days a week and it became impossible to live there. It felt like harassment."

She would ask Leon every day when he was moving, until he finally decided to move out despite having nowhere to go. Without the money for a deposit and with high rents, it was difficult for him to secure new housing. He began staying temporarily with 'a friend of a friend'; joining east London's 'hidden homeless'.

Leon explains how the uncertainty affected him: "Becoming homeless wasn't my fault, but it makes you feel very unsure and vulnerable. It's demeaning and there is lots of pressureÖ I was also afraid what employers would think as I couldn't even put an address on application forms."

The good news is, with Homelink's help, he has recently found a new home in Stoke Newington in Hackney, with his tenancy starting on 10 October, World Homelessness Day itself. Homelink gave him a pack of bedding and other household essentials to get him started in his new home. "It's nice to be in a place to myself. I don't need to worry about anyone else."

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