With the festive season approaching, many of us will be thinking about those less fortunate than ourselves, either lending a hand with charities or giving money.
It has been estimated that around 185,000 people a year are affected by homelessness in England alone. For many of those, it is a situation that is extremely difficult to escape. 86 percent of homeless people report suffering some kind of mental health disorder and the homeless die 30 years younger than the average life expectancy.
On Twitter, Londoner Craig Stone recounted the series of events that caused him to lose his home, his experiences of being homeless and how he eventually managed to find permanent housing. He explained exactly what was happening in his life before he lost his house, saying he was almost 30 years old, working in the city and was skint, single and suffering from depression.
His landlord increased his rent to a figure he couldn't afford, prompting him to ask work for a pay rise. He was refused. Craig then went to his local council for help, who turned him away.
"I asked the council for help, they said talk to my landlord. My landlord said talk to the council. Bastards," wrote Stone on Twitter.
Here's his story and a few calls to action for people.
Speaking to Mashable, he said: "Tomorrow your rent could go up. Tomorrow inflation could rise. Tomorrow you could have an accident. All of us are one event away from ending up on the streets, looking up at passers by, wondering how did it come to this?
"Christmas is coming up, and it's OK to give someone your time. And it's OK to ask someone on the streets their story. If you ask enough, you'll realise that the person you are talking to, is you."
A heart warming story.
Whatever your situation, you're not alone. Let's talk about it. Shelter wants to help. Visit http://www.shelter.org.uk/ initially, or if your problem is urgent call the helpline on 0808 800 4444 or drop into one of its face-to-face services.
Featured image credit: Twitter