Ben’s story

Ben is 29 years old.

Ben was placed for adoption at birth and grew up in Cardiff. At the age of 19, Ben joined the army as a stepping stone into the career he really wanted – to be a firefighter.

Ben’s first relationship was in 2012 and at that time, no one knew he was gay.

The relationship was an abusive one. When Ben left the army with PTSD and his relationship ended, he got a job in the education sector and rented what he thought was a house-share. Unknown to him, the tenant was sub-letting and so he was essentially squatting. Ben was forced to leave the property and move back home with his adoptive parents.

After a few weeks, Ben was told to leave the family home because he was gay.

Ben became street homeless and his bed during Christmas 2013 was a bench in Sophia Gardens.

Ben was titled Mr Gay Wales 2017 and is now a Fundraising Ambassador for Shelter Cymru and an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.

How you can help

Last year, Shelter Cymru helped almost 20,000 people in Wales who were either living in poor housing, facing homelessness or already rough sleeping.

Our support is free of charge and available to anyone in Wales who needs it.

Please make a donation so that our frontline services can continue to help individuals and families to find and keep a home.