Looking for Andrew (Journal 14)
I have three missed calls from Andrew, but I'm at work and it's difficult to phone him back. Eventually he gets through again and I stand looking through the window at the fire escape, wondering if he's going to ask me to bring him a bottle of fizzy pop at lunchtime.
"I got in the hostel last night," he says. "It was late by the time I moved all my stuff in and I wanted to ring, but didn't want to wake you." His speech is so fast that his words form an excited jumble.
I do a whoop for joy, or some such thing. I can't quite remember. That's excellent news, I say - well done.
"Did you know? Did someone else tell you?"
No, it's the first I've heard of it.
Perhaps I don't sound excited enough, but I feel more relieved than anything - I've been hoping for this moment for weeks.
"I slept like a baby last night - in a bed. In a bed!"
He tells me he needs a mini fridge and a kettle for his room and I tell him to leave it with me.
I put out a request on a local community group for a kettle:
"My homeless friend has just been given a room in a hostel and needs a kettle. Does anyone have one they no longer need or are willing to sell cheaply?"
Within a couple of hours a man sends me a message saying I can have one he has spare, along with a photo of the shiny, stainless steel jug kettle. Later in the evening, messages start to appear in my inbox:
"I wonder if this is the charming young man outside the Mind shop - he told me he was going to have a place in a hostel soon. I've had lovely chats with him and he shook my hand, so polite and deserving of a new start."
Plus offers of anything he needs, such as towels and bedding.
"I am delighted to hear this. I spoke to him a few times ... thank you so much for posting this as it would have been a worry if he had disappeared without trace!"
So, Andrew has been charming people with his politeness and making a good impression on them. I'm so proud of him. I have noticed that he's started picking up his rubbish recently and I think that he's starting to be more self-aware, but also more open and friendly.
Hopefully I will see him today and find out what life in the hostel is like. I'm praying he doesn't do something to fuck it all up!