Barry, a former salesman and warehouse worker, would still be rough sleeping on the streets of Woking if it was not for the help of night shelter and homeless charity the York Road Project.

The 53-year-old, who wishes to be referred to only by his first name and who did not wish to be pictured, found himself homeless in early 2018 after a Surrey sales company went bust. It left him without the pay he was owed and without money to pay his rent.

He spent three weeks sleeping rough outside the British Heart Foundation shop in Woking town centre before he found the York Road Project in May last year.

He stayed in its night shelter for about a month and is now living in one of the charity's "move-on" properties, which allow people to learn how to live independently so they can eventually move on without the charity's help.

He said: "[Rough sleeping] was very difficult and uncomfortable but there was also a positive aspect as it meant I’d finally left my previous negative situation behind and was moving forward.

"Although, I'm sure this view of things would have changed quickly if I hadn’t been picked up by one of York Road Project's outreach team and had ended up rough sleeping for much longer."

He said that without the charity, he would "still be outside".

He continued: "I would not have known how to get anything, like a bank account. One of the volunteers went to a bank and opened an account for me. The charity has put me somewhere where I can do things for myself. It has kept a roof over my head."

Article published on Surrey Live, written by reporter: Ann Yip

York Road Project is a registered charity in England and Wales #1162835 at 1 York Road, Woking GU22 7XH Text to donate services provided by Donr, to stop monthly text giving, simply text: STOP to 70085.
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