Man left homeless after breakdown of marriage now helping others through Coventry charity - The Coventry Observer

Man left homeless after breakdown of marriage now helping others through Coventry charity

Coventry Editorial 14th Oct, 2023   0

A MAN who has been sleeping rough on and off for over 30 years is now helping others get off the streets through his work with the Coventry homelessness charity which turned his life around.

When Paul’s marriage ended, he found he had nowhere to go after moving out of the family home and was unable to work.

The 56-year-old found little support as a single man, and after finding hostels ‘unsafe’ to live in he decided to sleep rough.

He said: “I did try living in hostels and it wasn’t a good experience.

“When I went out each morning I didn’t know if my room would be broken into: nothing felt safe.

“In the end, I thought I’d be better off rough sleeping; I felt safer on the streets.

“I did my best to look after myself, I would visit day centres where I could get washed, clean my clothes and have something to eat.

“I had a sleeping bag and if it was cold and raining, I’d find shelter in a park or somewhere else hidden away. I knew which areas to avoid because they’re not so safe.”

In 2017, Paul discovered Emmaus Coventry and Warwickshire and moved into its temporary accommodation soon after.

The Charity provides accommodation, support, and meaningful work for up to 17 people who have experienced homelessness, gaining confidence and skills until they are ready to move onto independent living.

Paul said he now has a more stable life and is helping to run Emmaus’s city charity shop and warehouse.

“I’ve got my own room and my stuff is safe when I leave each morning.

“One of the good things is that I’m not just sitting around watching TV all day like I would in a hostel: I’ve got something to do.

“If I left Emmaus and applied for a job and they asked me what I’ve been doing, I could tell them I’ve been working.

“I’ve not just sat there and done nothing, I’ve got skills.”

Visit to donate to the charity.

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