This World Homeless Day 2002, Leigh is sharing his experience and thanking our homelessness charity for helping to turn his life around.

A few years ago, Leigh split up with his partner: “Everything was in her name, so I left with nowhere to go. I sofa surfed with friends and family for a few months, but I didn’t want to be a burden so decided to start living on the streets.

“It’s so tough being homeless; I wouldn’t wish it on anybody.”

Leigh eventually reached out and got a place at Emmaus, where he is offered accommodation and support: “I’ve now got my own bedroom and the support staff here are great; if there’s a problem I can just knock on the door, and I’ll be helped out straight away.”

Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland provides a home, support, and meaningful work to up to 16 people who have experienced homelessness. Some stay for a while as they gain confidence and skills before they feel ready to move on to independent living; others are in need of longer-term support and are able to stay for as long as they need to.

Along with others being supported by the charity, Leigh helps to run our Emmaus Emporium shop on Stockwell Head in Hinckley: “When I first started at Emmaus, it felt like I hadn’t done much with my life. Now I think that when I leave here, at least I have made a difference, which is a very good feeling. Every day I’m helping to raise money for the charity that is helping me.”

If you’ve been inspired by Leigh’s story and want to help, find out about the ways you can support our charity.