March 9 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, December 12, 2013
This time last year, Jerry Lee was living in his own home and had no idea that just a few months later he would be living on he streets and sleeping rough.
The 40-year-old, who previously worked for Anglian Water as a water engineer, said: “I had an accident on a motorcycle and badly damaged my leg so I had to go on the sick.”
Unable to work and with little money coming in, Mr Lee fell behind with the bills.
“I was evicted from my home due to rent arrears and I found myself on the street. I had no idea what to do.
“I never expected to be homeless, I had been in my home for 14 years and in all that time I never, ever thought about people who live on the streets. I never imagined myself being in this position.”
He continued: “I have been homeless for four months and the first three months were awful. I just didn’t feel safe, especially at weekends when people were coming out of the pubs. You never know what sort of people will be in the town centre and it can be very dangerous when you are vulnerable.”
Mr Lee found out about the night shelters after visiting the church in Burlington Road and was offered a bed, he has gone along every night since the launch on December 4.
“Unfortunately I would be on the streets, sleeping in doorways, if it weren’t for the churches, I don’t have many friends in the town who could put me up.”
Living on the streets, Mr Lee has been living hand to mouth, and hasn’t been able to think ahead or see a way out of his situation.
He continued: “Being able to come to the churches has given me a chance to sit back and think things through, to put things into perspective.
“The churches are helping me try and find my own accommodation, something permanent.