David, 52, was sleeping rough in Lincolnshire when he first approached Framework for help. Six months after moving into Lincoln’s Pathways Centre, he was living in his own home and is putting his period of homelessness behind him.

His remarkable change in fortunes was made possible by the 0800 hot­line operated by Framework’s Street Outreach Team.

He explained: “Before I got help from Framework I was literally on the streets. When I first became homeless I slept under a bridge by the A16. When I wasn’t there I slept in shop doorways and sometimes on friends’ sofas. At one stage I was even living in a shed – until it was burned down.

“It’s a very difficult way to live. You don’t sleep much because you are on your toes all the time in case somebody attacks you. I was drinking a lot but not eating much.

“Before all that happened I was living with friends in a rented house, although really it was just a place for people to crash out rather than a house anybody else would recognise. In the past I actually owned my own house and worked for years, but that was a long time ago.”

David had no knowledge of Framework until he was handed a card containing the number of its Lincolnshire Street Outreach Team. Not believing they could or would be able to help him, he put it in his pocket and thought nothing of it for several weeks. When he eventually did call it proved to be the start of a long journey to independence.

He explained: “When I called and spoke to them they were very helpful to me. It was nice to have somebody there who was looking out for me and wanted to help me. It was also a relief that they actually knew about what I was going through, because normal people just don’t understand. They really were ex­cellent to me. In the end I was speak­ing to Jonny [Framework’s Lincolnshire Outreach Team Leader] pretty much eve­ry day until I was offered a room here.

“Without that number I would nev­er have got help from Framework, and without that help I really think I would have been dead because the weather would finally have caught up with me.

“With help from staff at The Pathways Centre I was accepted for my own flat with a housing association. It’s been a difficult time for me but I know that this will be really good for me. I am deter­mined not to repeat the same mistakes I have made in the past.”

*Framework's Rough Sleepers' Hotline can be called 24-hours-a-day on 0800 066 5356