Paul is 51 years old, he is well-educated and has had a successful career as a roofing contractor for 37 years, yet he found himself homeless.
"I have always been a very active guy and enjoyed activities such as swimming, motorcycling, walking and deep-sea fishing. Just over a year ago I jumped over a garden fence, something I had done many times before, but this time it was a different story. Upon landing on the other side, I broke my calcaneus (heel bone). This was a very serious injury which meant I spent three weeks in hospital and a further six months in plaster.
I was told not to go back to work but my savings dwindled very fast and I was left with no choice but to return to work against the advice of both my surgeon and physiotherapist. After a few weeks I realised I was simply not fit enough to carry out my tasks and was forced to leave my job and give up the room I was renting. With nowhere to go, I started sleeping in my car and eating meals provided by my friends. That’s when the reality set in. I was homeless.
I feared I would end up on the streets and that’s when I went to Stonepillow Chichester Hub to ask for help. They were very supportive and I was offered a place at the Chichester Hostel that very evening. The staff could see my ankle was extremely problematic for me so I have since moved into the Stonepillow Lodge and I am awaiting more surgery. I have also been able to apply for a free bus pass which will make it easier for me to attend various hospital appointments.
With the support from my key worker I am now addressing my debt problems which I found impossible to achieve before faced with no fixed address and no income. Now I am living in Stonepillow accommodation I have the security I need to address other issues that have been a constant worry. I can’t thank Stonepillow enough for helping sort everything out and for helping me begin to get my life back on track.
Once I have recovered from my injury and I am back on my feet I do not want to go back to my old job, I want to work for Stonepillow. I feel that this way I can really give something back to others who find themselves in a similar position. It really is shocking that homelessness can happen to anyone. A huge thank you to Stonepillow and all the caring staff for their support. I don’t where I would be without them."
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