Evicted, his belongings taken, sleeping behind a hedge for three months - but finally a safe place to stay and live

PUBLISHED: 19:33 23 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:57 25 June 2020

Barry: If I hadnt come to Wisbech, I wouldnt have known anything about 50 Backpacks, and now, because Ive got empathy with the homeless, I want to try and help them as much as I can. - Picture: WikiMedia/Geograph/For Reuse

Barry: If I hadnt come to Wisbech, I wouldnt have known anything about 50 Backpacks, and now, because Ive got empathy with the homeless, I want to try and help them as much as I can. - Picture: WikiMedia/Geograph/For Reuse

WikiMedia/Geograph/For Reuse

A self-employed landscape gardener who was living behind a hedge for three months said he was “in floods of tears” after being given a safe place to stay.

Barry moved to Wisbech from King’s Lynn last October to be closer to his fiancé and stepdaughter in Lincolnshire following a relationship breakdown.

Although Barry wanted to stay in King’s Lynn, he was forced to move after his landlord needed the house, which he believes was done illegally.

“The relationship broke down and the landlord kicked me out after a month because his daughter was pregnant, so he wanted the house back and I ended up on the streets,” he said.

“He helped me with four of his mates to take all my stuff out the house and put it on the driveway.

“I left it there for about three weeks because I had nowhere to put it. Most of my stuff was ruined.”

Barry, 47, then found his possessions were taken without his consent.

But after initially staying at The Ferry Project, then in the Horsefair car park, he was told to seek help by a resident who spotted him behind the hedge; he began to find support.

MORE: One man, one organisation provided a lifeline for thousands during the coronavirus pandemic

“I saw some signs about 50 Backpacks, and I went to Change Grow Lives after about three months to try and get some help,”

Barry said. “Since I was told about it last year, I’ve been going to 50 Backpacks getting my breakfast and they’ve helped me a hell of a lot.”

Barry now has a room of his own thanks to the charity, and the landscape gardener is also eyeing a few challenges to give something back to the homeless.

“I’ve ran my own house and business and when I was on the streets, I couldn’t do any of that,” he said.

“I want to do the three peaks of Yorkshire and walk around the entire coast of the British Isles, all for charity. I also want to walk from Wisbech to each of the Wetherspoons hotels in the UK and blog it.

“If I hadn’t come to Wisbech, I wouldn’t have known anything about 50 Backpacks, and now, because I’ve got empathy with the homeless, I want to try and help them as much as I can.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Like the others we have protected the identity of those interviewed. All signed statements confirming their stories and each interview was taped with consent record.


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