As a companion at Emmaus Hull and East Riding, James also volunteers his time to help operations in the warehouse.

Following a difficult breakup with his former partner, James found himself looking for alternative accommodation. Unable to live with his family, as they were in council properties, keeping a roof over his head was looking unlikely. Pressure from his previous relationship was also taking its toll and he decided that he needed to take a break from the demands of every day life.

Spending most of his time in the countryside and only venturing in to the city to do odd jobs to earn small amounts of cash, it was a lung infection that he contracted during bad weather that drove James to the doctors. After noticing numerous mosquito bites covering James’s body, his GP suspected that he might be sleeping rough and referred him to Emmaus.

From the moment he arrived, James says he was made to feel welcome and received support.

James said: “You need to be able to pick yourself back up and be committed to the program on offer here.

“I now volunteer in the logistics department of the warehouse and I’ve undertaken lots of training including fire marshal, first aid, customer service, IT and others.

“It’s a five-day-a-week role and feels good to be putting something back in to the community.

“Day to day I’m responsible for taking phone calls, organising deliveries, looking after the tills and money as well as coordinating collections. When I came here I couldn’t work a computer, which is a huge barrier in today’s world, but I’ve now become competent.

“It gives me a sense of worth and has readied me to go back in to the world of work.

“My goals are to find full-time employment and move back in to independent living.

“Without the help of the staff at Emmaus I would still be on the streets or could even be dead.”