When I was only 8 years old, my father’s business went bust leaving our family homeless and broke. For the first few months, we were living in a squat in a run down area of Plymouth in the UK called Devonport.

Our living conditions were so bad, that when the housing officer came to look at where we were living, she said that no children were living in worse conditions in the city, and she immediately moved us into emergency housing.

I have to say, that wasn’t much better. Battery Street flats, with its cream painted brick walls, looked like a prison. We were sharing a flat with a pregnant couple, Sean and Mary. The carpets in the hallways had carpet at the edges but were completely worn away in the middle.

One morning, my brother and I opened the front door to go to school to find that during the night, someone had committed suicide in the steps outside our front door. Fortunately, the body had already been taken away, but there was blood everywhere.

That for me was rock bottom. Everything from there was up. read more…