Sometimes in life we need to share our feelings that are hard to bear. When in our hearts we feel such pain that extra strength we have to gain from someone who will keep us safe.
And listen when we lose our faith. This Guardian Angel’s here for you to light the way and help you through.
The Homeless Street Hub is not only about feeding the homeless and provide them with dry and clean clothes. Furthermore all of the volunteers are there because they really do care about the Rough Sleepers in Southend-on-Sea and want to make a long lasting difference.
But without support from other people in form of money donations it is really hard to keep the work going. For this reason we created the “Become a Guardian Angel” Project to give other people the opportunity to get to know some of the Rough Sleepers and their stories. Behind every individual on the street is a personal story that is touching and full of desperation. By making time to have a read through the stories and get to know the people you are going to support you make a huge difference.
Please be aware that we are not able to provide all the pictures and stories of the Rough Sleepers in Southend-on-Sea. We can only do this if the agreed to it but still all the donated money goes to every single one that is in need of extra support on a mental, emotional, spiritual and physical level in the streets.
Mark grew up in London as a son of a well-known drug dealer. From very early age on he was dragged into a world of violence and abuse. Even when he left home as a teenager he found himself lost in a world that seemed to big to bear. Never the chance for a good education or an apprenticeship got him deeper into the slums of London. After a failed relationship he ended up in prison and is still trying to recover from that experience. Being to prison as well as struggling with a damaged hip makes it hopeless for him to find a job or apply for housing. This is where the system fails that it doesn’t offer support for those who ended up the wrong path.
My meeting with Mark (written by Julie Jurgan):
When I met Mark he sat on the ground and it was freezing cold. I started chatting to him and told him about the Guardian Angel Project. In the first place he didn’t want me to tell his story nor that I take any pictures of him. He felt ashamed about the way he looked and the way his life took him down the wrong lane. Spending time with Mark left a deep impression within me about how circumstances out of our control can have a chain effect that does will change your whole life forever. Especially in a society in which we pretend that we don’t make mistakes therefor there is no need for second chances. Mark is such a loveable guy with a very big heart. I truly believe that Mark deserves a second chance and I know he would grab it if it just would come around the corner. “I would do any job I could do if they only would give me something. I don’t want to live on the street but what can you do. Here feel my fingers I cant hardly feel anything. It is so cold. But look how people look at me, they judge me already. And the government is not interested in people like me. So what can I do?” said Mark before I left him that day.
Woyzeck is originally from Poland and has been in the UK for more than 13 years. During an accumulation of unforseen circumstances he lost his job and house at the same time. Even he has family in the UK that denied and help or support to get him off the streets. Woyzeck is on the street for 5 years now. He is only in his 30’s and he knows that he has an alcohol problem. He would love to go to rehabilitation but the government does deny him this opportunity because he lives on the street.
My meeting with Woyzeck: (writte by Julie Jurgan)
I was just on my way to grab some lunch when I met Woyzeck sitting in front of Subways. So I sat next to him and asked him how he would do and if he had eaten anything today. He denied and smiled at me. I grabbed him some sandwiches and a juice when I asked him about his story that made him living on the streets. Realizing that he was the same age as I am and normally that should be the best years in your life, made me really sad. Woyzeck is a lovely guy and very intelligent but again the system failed especially because he you got a drinking problem as well. When I asked him why he would drink he looked at me and I saw the desperation in his eyes. A pain that is caused by rejection and the lack of family of friendship support when you need it the most. “It is tough to live on the street. It is very hard. Drinking does kill the pain. It kills the memories and it warms you in the winter.”
After meeting Woyzeck I had to take some time off. Thinking about my life and what if my friends would have not supported me as they did. I might would have ended up on the streets as well. The government cant replace a missing family link but it can do something about the care and how they offer support for people who are in need.
Trevor has been physically abused by his father for many years. When he grow older he promised himself he would never ever become like his dad. Therefor he became a professional Boxer and had a promising career in the boxing business. Till one day…
My meeting with Trevor: (written by Julie Jurgan)
Trevor is a real gentleman and treats everyone with respect. He loves people and people love him for his charming smile. He is a very strong character and life might made him this way. I really loved hanging out with Trevor and he was open to share his story even I felt that it brought up a lot of difficult memories for him. Trevor is such a great soul, so warm hearted and gentle. I felt really comfortable in his presence and he invited me to one of his drumming gigs in the local pub. Thank you!
You can help and become a Guardian Angel for the Rough Sleepers in Southend-on-Sea by making a donation here ( – link to paypal)
Photos taken and stories written by Julie Jurgan.
Julie is the founder of Blossom of the Soul, an online magazine for conscious and authentic living as well as social change. She has been working with the homeless in Southend since August 2015 as a healer, a friend and an active supporter of the Soup kitchen.
Her dream would be to see the idea of the Second Chance Hotel for Rough Sleepers become a reality. And that homelessness would be understood in a more holistic approach and requires the healing of the body, the mind and the soul.