Sam has lived permanently at Arlington since 1995. During that time he has seen Arlington change ownership and be extensively redeveloped.
“Arlington is unbelieveable” says Sam. When he first arrived at Arlington, he looked up at the the boy holding the globe over the doorway and felt it represented “hope”.
The building used to house the ‘paddys’ (Irish workers) who were working on the King's Cross construction. Residents were asked to leave at 9am and could only return at 5pm. The workers only had what they wore and the most important item of clothing was their shoes, which they tied to the end of their bed. The layout of the cubicles meant that all the beds were very close together and there was a great sense of community.
Sam loves Arlington and during periods of absence he always wished to come back as he missed the interaction and all his best friends lived here. Since the re-launch, Arlington has been “done up beautifully, I have a lovely en-suite room and all I need to do is keep it clean. Everything I want is at Arlington”.
Sam at age 24, followed his wife from Dublin to England. In those days jobs were easy to pick up and within 24 hours of arriving in London, Sam had secured a job in a local warehouse. Job movement was fluid and residents of Arlington were always in and out of work especially as Arlington was strict on rent payment.
In response to the latest redevelopment, Sam recognised that places need to change and improve. It is a clean environment that all customers should take the time to look after. On reflection, “Arlington before the redevelopment was becoming a horrible place to live, customer were drinking all day in the customer lounge, sitting around and talking”.
Sam is now regularly participating in organised activities, such as Sunday walks to Regents Park.