Video: I never expected to end up homeless - rough sleeper reveals his darkest times

Volunteers are rallying around the clock at the night shelters in Ipswich.
Jeremy Lee has a bed at the night shelter. Volunteers are rallying around the clock at the night shelters in Ipswich. Jeremy Lee has a bed at the night shelter.

Thursday, December 12, 2013
5:28 PM

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.

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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.

4 comments

  • There are currently lots of people in Suffolk and Essex who have joined a movement in the UK known as "The Rucksack Project." This movement was started by one man in Bristol, who filled a rucksack with nice warm items and handed it to a homeless person. In Ipswich, we are working with The Umbrella TrustIpswich Locality Homelessness PartnershipCommunity Resource Centre. Please look at the event page on facebook (The Rucksack Project Ipswich) if you would like to help the rough sleepers and vulnerable people in the town. Thankyou if you have taken the time to read this

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    Dee Thomas

    Friday, December 13, 2013

  • Something must be seriously wrong with a welfare system that allows many benefit cheats to get away with it but allows a man in a temporary situation due to an accident to be out on the streets.

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Friday, December 13, 2013

  • Ipswich council should be ashamed give this man a bed . its strange all the imports we have getting everything and this poor man gets nothing and this is England full stop

    Report this comment

    Lee mundy

    Friday, December 13, 2013

  • I read this story with real sadness. It really is that easy for somebody's whole life to change so dramatically. I hope and pray one day soon this man will have a home and job again.

    Report this comment

    tanya patterson

    Friday, December 13, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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