Former Royal Navy Marine from Kent who's now homeless feels 'worthless and let down'

  • Watch Joe Coshan's final report in ITV Meridian's series 'No Place to Call Home.

A former Royal Navy Marine has told ITV Meridian becoming homeless has left him feeling worthless and let down.

Phil Gorman, 57 served in the Merchant Navy for 16 years.

He became homeless after splitting up with his wife in 2017, and described the split as 'crucifying.'

Phil ended up sleeping rough in the town. He receives support at the Rainbow Centre and at Porchlight, two Kent based charities which support people experiencing homelessness.

But he says after serving his country, he feels betrayed by those in power.

"I served this country. I got medals for this country. But the Government won't do nothing.

"They know what's going on, but they choose not to help."

  • Phil Gorman tells ITV Meridian life on the streets is 'hard.'

"I travelled the world twice, and I've seen a lot in life, so I have a lot of empathy for people that are struggling, he added.

"It's been really hard, but you make the best of it and do what you can."

Phil slept rough in Folkestone with just a sleeping bag, and a few personal belongings, before he started receiving support at the Rainbow Day Centre, where he could have a hot meal.

Reflecting on some of his experiences sleeping rough, Phil said: "There was a lady who used to come and visit me, and I'd be sitting there, I'd be laying there with nothing.

"And she would turn round to me and say 'Phil I have a blanket here for you.'

"She went out of her way to come and see me.

"There are some good people out there."

The government has committed £560m to preventing people from becoming homeless over the next two years, as part of the Homelessness Prevention Grant.

The Prime Minister hopes the money allocated to local authorities over the next two years - will protect people at risk of losing their homes - and provide temporary accommodation for rough sleepers.

£41.8m of that fund will go to councils across the South East. Councils in the Thames Valley will receive £31m, and in the south £48.6m.

More than £96 million pounds is be invested to prevent people across the whole of the Meridian region from becoming homeless.

Jamie and Kayleigh continue to use the Newbury Soup Kitchen. Credit: ITV Meridian

But charities say the fear of having no place to call home is incessantly real as the cost of living crisis continues to grow.

Jamie and Kayleigh, who were previously homeless have told ITV Meridian they're still having to make tough decisions.

They admitted they are too frightened to put the heating on as the cost of living continues to rise.

The couple have been using the Newbury soup kitchen for a couple of years after they became homeless. Though they have moved on from living in the hostel Jamie said it offers them that extra bit of support.

"It might not seem like a lot to some people, but it has helped us no end. I don't think everyone realises what a difference it makes to some people."

  • Jamie and Kayleigh say they are too scared to put the heating on.

As part of the ITV Meridian series 'No Place to Call Home', there are stories of hope.

We met Keith Ford from Southampton who became homeless after losing his job as a mechanic.

He ended up sleeping rough, before Two Saints stepped in to support him. Keith is now living in private rented accommodation.

He said re-gaining his independence has been life changing.

"It's great to have those keys.

"And not to have to worry about where you're going to be sleeping tonight. Is it going to be dry?

"It's absolutely fantastic."

Keith Ford is now living in private rented accommodation. Credit: ITV Meridian

We also spoke to Kurt, whose grandad triggered a downward spiral of drinking, taking drugs and pushing away those closest to them.

They were sofa surfing and sleeping on the streets of Brighton from the age of 17. 

Now 22, Kurt’s seven months clean and living in supported accommodation after receiving support from the Clocktower Sanctuary - a specialist homelessness centre for young people.

Kurt said he is taking every day as it comes and mending family bonds in the process. 

For advice and support on homelessness you can contact the following organisations

Shelter 0808 800 4444

Crisis 01865 263900

Porchlight 0800 567 7699

Two Saints 01329 234600

Knight Support Street Link 0300 500 0914