Shaun served 11 years in the Parachute Regiment covering five tours in Northern Ireland and single tours in Macedonia, Kosovo and Iraq as part of the invasion. He joined the British Army in 1994 and served until 2005.
He went back to his hometown Alnwick, Northumberland and applied for housing through his local authority but was refused because he ‘left the area and gave up his entitlement to live in the town’. He applied for housing in other local authority areas but was faced with the same problem and ended up living on the streets.
“That was really tough,” said Shaun. “I was homeless for over four years and felt punished for leaving my hometown. I couldn’t see a way out and thought this was it for the rest of my life until one day, I met up with an old friend who was living at Launchpad’s Avondale House. He suggested I contacted the office to see if they had any flats available. Within a month, I had my own apartment, a roof over my head and a safe place to live.”
Launchpad provided Shaun with accommodation and access to a support network to help him rebuild his life. “When I moved in, I literally had nothing – just a bag and a rucksack of clothes and that was it. Without Launchpad, I would definitely be still living on the streets and who knows where I might have ended up.”
“Launchpad has done exactly what it said it would do. When I was homeless, I felt like a nobody, now I feel on top of the world. I’ve got a fully furnished flat, a car, clothing and a job with steady income.”
Shaun secured employment with the charity as the scheme’s handyman carrying out general maintenance and odd jobs that need doing around the house.