I’m so relieved. I finally feel safe & stable.
In November 2018, Iulian became homeless in London. He was living in accommodation provided by his employer who said rent would be deducted directly from his wages. Sadly his wages never came and after working unpaid for six weeks he was told to leave the property.
Iulian says: “With nowhere to go, I had no choice but to sleep on the streets. I slept mainly in well-lit passages, and where I could, public places with CCTV. I thought I was less likely to be attacked if passers-by could see me. Weeks later I was advised to get in touch with StreetLink who helped me into Crisis at Christmas. It was like heaven – after being on the street, and then suddenly being treated like you’re at a five star hotel.”
Iulian, aged 33, moved into a Caritas Anchor Assessment Hub in mid-January. Six weeks later, on 28th February, he received the keys to his new home.
“When I moved into Caritas Anchor House I was so relieved. I finally had a stable roof over my head, and could stay long enough to get my life back on track. Once I got here, I knew I wouldn’t ever go back to the streets. My career had been in restaurants where I worked as a bartender, sous-chef and then a chef. Zainab, my support worker, told me about the Only A Pavement Away charity who help assist and support those who are homeless into employment within the hospitality industry. She encouraged me to apply for a job.”
“I was helped to prepare for an interview at The Ivy Collection and was accepted for a trial shift, which went well, before being offered a role at The Ivy St John’s Wood. Cooking is something that I really love and I was very happy to be offered the position.”
Iulian began with The Ivy Collection in February 2019 as a kitchen porter, and after just four and a half months in the role, he progressed to commis chef. Janene Pretorius, Director of People at The Ivy Collection says: “Iulian is an invaluable member of our team at The Ivy St John’s Wood and we were delighted to promote him to commis chef earlier this year.”
It’s stories such as these that show the invaluable work that the team at Only A Pavement Away carry out on a daily basis.”
Iulian adds: “When you go from being homeless to moving in to your new home and being given a chance to forge a new career, it’s a feeling I can’t easily describe. I am so relieved and finally feel safe and stable. I am proud and know I have accomplished something amazing.”