Ex-homeless man hoping to help others off the streets in Ipswich
- Credit: Emmaus Suffolk
A former homeless man is hoping to help others off the streets as part of an event being held in Ipswich town centre.
Sean Truman says he knew "what it's like to sleep in doorways" before starting as a support worker with Emmaus Suffolk nearly two years ago.
Mr Truman will be with Emmaus, along with 12 other organisations such as the Salvation Army and Help our Homeless Ipswich, on Ipswich Cornhill on Friday.
Representatives from the organisations will be in the town centre providing support and educating on how to help homeless people in commemoration of World Homeless Day, which is this Sunday.
According to the most recent data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, there were 1,827 people assessed as either homeless at risk of becoming homeless in Ipswich last year.
At the start of the Covid pandemic, the 'Everyone In' scheme was launched in Ipswich to help provide those sleeping rough with accommodation.
As the scheme has come to an end and Universal Credit is cut, Mr Truman has encouraged people in difficulties to ask for help in the town centre.
He said: "I know what it’s like to sleep in doorways and go around to soup kitchens to ask for food
"I ended up living in a tent, but at times I didn’t even have a tent, I was just sleeping in doorways. There were times when I would be able to get off the streets but then I would spiral again and find myself back there. I couldn’t seem to break the cycle. It was bleak, I was dying.
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"I was able to turn my life around, but because of my life up until then I found it very hard to find work. I had lots of lived experience, but I had no qualifications, and trying to put together a CV was really hard.
"I am now a support worker for the charity, using my life experience as an asset, rather than something to shy away from.
"People seem to want to talk to me because they know I have been where they are. When someone can talk to you from that place, from personal experience, it makes you want to open up more."