“I wouldn’t have survived if I had to sleep rough. I’d have froze to death!”

Glen is in his sixties and has been in Cornwall for over 20 years. He served in the merchant navy in various fleets and vessels, served aboard a hospital ship in the Falklands conflict and later, the first Iraq conflict. He still feels a strong connection to the sea.

“My health isn’t good, I’ve got a history of lung cancer, pancreatitis, double coloboma (an eye condition), COPD, asthma and nerve damage in my feet. I struggle to move around at anything but a slow pace these days.

“I work 6 days a week, at two jobs. I have to get up at 4am because it takes me an hour to walk to work. I start my first job, cleaning at 5am, six mornings a week.

Three days a week I go to straight to my second job managing a car wash, straight after finishing my first job.

“I was living as a lodger with a lady in Penzance under an informal arrangement. I didn’t have a tenancy agreement of any kind and was paying her cash. Unfortunately, she had a lot of stress in her life and our relationship deteriorated until eventually, she asked me to leave, and I was facing the possibility of sleeping rough. I wouldn’t have survived if I had to sleep rough. I’d have froze to death!

“I went to St Petrocs, Breadline in Penzance in January. The staff immediately called the Homeless Tonight Team due to their concerns over my vulnerability, but the Council said I was non-priority for accommodation. They said that because I had two jobs, I couldn’t be that unwell.”

St Petrocs immediately placed Glen in their emergency winter accommodation programme and Glen stayed at the Premier Inn in Penzance whilst they challenged the Council’s initial decision. The case was given to a homeless officer at Cornwall Housing Ltd who assessed the information provided by St Petrocs, reversed the previous decision, and made Glen an offer of temporary accommodation. However, the temporary accommodation offer which they made was in Newquay and Glen was forced to turn it down as he would have been unable to make it to work in Penzance for 5am each day. Glen was again facing the prospect of sleeping rough. St Petrocs made the decision to extend the emergency winter accommodation for Glen to stay at the Premier Inn so that he could carry on working.

St Petrocs continued working with Glen’s homeless officer at Cornwall Housing Ltd to find Glen a housing solution in the Penzance area. Eventually an option presented itself at a housing association flat, which he moved in to in March 2021.

“The stars aligned; I was lucky.” Glen stayed in St Petrocs emergency accommodation for a total of 47 nights, from 20th January to 7th March and received support throughout his stay from St Petrocs at Breadline in Penzance. Glen was hugely complimentary about the staff there, and at the Premier Inn.

“I couldn’t wish for a nicer place, the staff at the Premier Inn were lovely. Good as gold! They even got me a leaving present.”  Glen is still receiving support from St Petrocs around benefits and health. We also supported Glen in retrieving his belongings from his ex-landlady.  “I’d like to thank Mark at Breadline who was my support worker at St Petrocs, and everyone there. I’d be in a tent or dead if it hadn’t been for them.”