Hi, I’m Jackson, I’m 25-years-old and this is my story…
“As lockdown hit, my partner of two years broke up with me and I suddenly found myself homeless. Normally I’d move into someone else’s house but because of lockdown no-one would let me stay.
My dad only lives a few miles away but he has end-stage liver cirrhosis and needs to shield. I couldn’t move into his flat so I put up a tent outside his ground floor flat, just outside his kitchen window. I lived there for 12 weeks.
It was a nightmare, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. It was really depressing. I was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I thought I was going to spend the whole of lockdown in the tent but after 12 weeks I couldn’t take it any longer and ended up ringing the council. I was offered a place at the Amber Foundation as it was the only space available. Three weeks later I was able to move into a shared house at YMCA Exeter Supported Accommodation.
Before lockdown I had never claimed benefits and didn’t even know supported accommodation existed. But this support is brilliant. I really needed it.
I’ve looked into 1-bed housing but it’s so expensive. I can’t afford it on universal credit. Once I’d have paid my rent I’d be skint for the next three weeks. I’ve looked for work online and I’ve rung up agencies, but I just need the world to come out of lockdown.
I’ve decided I’m going to go to uni and study Investment Banking. I want to challenge myself to do it and I know I can.”
Listen to Jackson share his story and us share about the lack of affordable housing on this BBC Radio Devon interview from February
Catch up on Gemmas Story here.