March homeless man says all he wants is to feel like a human

March man Paul Denney has now spent two years sleeping rough

March man Paul Denney has now spent two years sleeping rough - Credit: Archant

A man who has marked the second year of rough sleeping in March said all he wants is to “feel like a human” instead of being turned away from getting help.

Paul Denny, 50, says he searches out empty outbuildings to sleep in and says some nights he is shaking from cold so much that he gets up to walk to keep warm.

Paul said: “I know people look at me and think oh it’s that alcoholic beggar, that old riff raff, he is a nothing but I get others who chat to me and are kind and that makes me bubble.

“Being homeless makes you lose respect in yourself and really all I want is to feel like a human.

“I am turned away from Fenland District Council and the Ferry Project, nobody wants to help.”

We wrote a story about Paul in the summer when he told how he has had bottles hurled at him, been thrown in the river, given verbal abuse and had his phone stolen.

Then he was sleeping in the hut opposite Specsavers because it is covered by CCTV and he said he felt safer knowing if anybody attacked him they would be caught on camera.

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“In the last two years I’ve slept in bushes, anywhere where I can keep warm and dry, you never really sleep properly anyway as you are aware of every noise, just in case.”

• In any one night in the UK there are around 3,569 people sleeping rough, according to Government figures. The eastern region has seen the biggest rise in homelessness - 38 per cent in the last year. In the last five years rough sleeping nationally has risen by 102 per cent.

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