Adam's story: “An employer saw potential in me”

With our help, he went from homeless to assistant manager

When we first met Adam, he was 18 years old and homeless.

Now aged 26, he’s an assistant manager at a major high street shop who is responsible for managing large sums of money, dealing with customers and motivating a small team of staff.

“I’m in a job I like and am in charge of a great team – all because an employer saw the same potential in me that Porchlight did.”

Adam has been with his employer for six years. He started out as a cashier while still living with Porchlight.

Recovery from trauma was first step

Adam had become homeless due to a family relationship breakdown. He spent over a year being supported Porchlight and rebuilding his life.

Employment allows people to leave homelessness behind for good, but we know that people must recover from the trauma of homelessness before they’re ready to work.

We helped Adam to overcome the trauma he had experienced and rebuild his confidence. An important step in this process is helping people find volunteering opportunities with local organisations. For Adam, this involved helping to run a large jobs fair.

'Volunteering boosted my confidence'

“Volunteering really boosted my confidence. At first, I felt out of my comfort zone but by the end it made me realise I was ready to start applying for jobs.”

When someone feels ready to return to work, Porchlight gives them the support to do it. We help people identify jobs that match their talents.

Talents shone through

Adam was good at talking to the public – something he’d realised while volunteering. He began applying for public-facing jobs with help from his support worker.

Soon, Adam’s employer offered him a cashier role. He began work and was able to move out of Porchlight accommodation a few months later. Since then, he’s established himself at the company.

“I’m happy where I am. I have made friends with colleagues and customers. At one point in my life, it’s not something I imagined myself being able to do.”

If you’ve been homeless it can count against you when going for a job. Most people we support want to work but their past is held against them.

“My story is proof that no one should be judged because of their situation. If employers are willing to look beyond homelessness, they will find many more people like me who have a lot to give.”