A STUDENT has told of the difficulty in studying for a master's degree while living in a homeless shelter.

Beck Alford, who is studying at the University of Winchester, doesn't understand how the Government continues not to support those struggling in the financial crisis.

The student said studying at university is “hard enough” without having to live in emergency housing.

“I’ve not been able to study, and the university has not helped me," Beck said. "I’m just surviving now.” 

The student was evicted from their home three months ago leading to them staying in a homeless shelter while waiting for council housing.

READ MORE: Heatwave: Fair Oak and Horton Heath Council closes slides

The 41-year-old, from Southampton, said: “We get treated like we’re all from the streets.

"I rented for five years before being evicted and now I am studying in my Zoom classes in a homeless shelter. 

“People become homeless for a lot of different reasons. Divorce, job loss, house repossession. You can’t get council housing unless you're in a homeless shelter.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Beck AlfordBeck Alford

Originally from St Deny’s, Beck said that having poor mental health played a large role in being homeless. Beck has ADHD and depression.

“There is a mental health crisis in homelessness," Beck said.

“I’ve moved around the shelters and when I first went into them I couldn’t properly shower."

Beck plans to release a poetry collection of anonymous works created by other homeless people - and wishes that “more was done” to support the trauma faced by those sleeping on the streets.

They said: “Trauma is the cause of being homeless and being homeless is trauma.” 

Beck plans to continue studying a master's degree in reconciliation and peacebuilding at the University of Winchester, with the aim of one day becoming a human rights lawyer. 

A university spokesperson said: “The University of Winchester does not comment on the personal circumstances of individual students.  

“However, we are aware of the challenges that can be faced by our students. The University’s central Support Services and Faculty teams work together to support mental well-being, disability, and financial and academic challenges.  

“We are committed to providing a supportive and inclusive environment to help all students flourish.” 


A message from the editor

Thank you for reading this article - we appreciate your support.

Subscribing means you have unrestricted access to the latest news and reader rewards - all with an advertising-light website.

Don't take my word for it – subscribe here to see for yourself.

Looking to advertise an event? Then check out our free events guide.

Want to keep up with the latest news and join in the debate? You can find and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.