A former homeless man who was hosted by three Nottingham sisters said he ‘can’t thank them enough’.
Daniel Higginson, 24, was homeless a few weeks ago but now finds himself in a nice, warm home.
The three sisters who put him up want to remain anonymous, but one of the sisters and Daniel spoke to Nottinghamshire Live about the ‘unique’ experience of giving a stranger a home.
Mr Higginson told Nottinghamshire Live: ‘I was rough, sleeping rough, in doorways and behind shops. I didn’t expect it, so they came to get me. I can’t thank them enough, everything here is what they gave me.
Daniel said homelessness was a difficult experience that he was happy to leave behind.
“I don’t know how to explain it, I had people watching me, your mind is playing tricks on you,” he said.
“You wake up every hour just to look around and make sure you’re not in danger. My tent has been lacerated and when it rains sleeping wet is awful. I used to go to the toilet and to use the clothes dryer to dry my clothes.”
Mr Higginson said he had tried sleeping in hostels but preferred to sleep on the streets as he found it scary to be inside such accommodation.
One of the ladies who were staying with Daniel told Nottinghamshire Live how his encounter happened.
“One day my sister and I went for coffee, we saw him and asked him [Daniel] if he wanted one, he looked frozen to the bone,” she said.
“We called him Josh and it just kept playing in our minds, he was out there in the cold and he looked so young.
“We inherited this property and just decided to host Daniel, we thought if we could do it let’s do it. At first some of our kids thought it was a bad idea but we said ‘if you were in this position, we would like someone to help you too.’
“Once we made our decision, we went to pick up Daniel where he usually was and he wasn’t there. We were driving and found him in a parking lot and just asked him if he wanted to move. We just thought, ‘why wait?’ “
“We didn’t do it for nothing, there’s nothing for us. He’s now warm and clean and this is his home, this is his front door, his key.
“He will use this opportunity to his advantage. I know things will take time, everything else will not fall into place.”
Daniel is currently unemployed but wants to work.
He told Nottinghamshire Live: ‘I hope to get back to work. I have 2 daughters and I want to see them again, I want warehouse work. I’ve done it before and enjoyed it.
The lady who helped house Daniel went on to say:
“No one should be homeless these days. Hopefully someone will see this and think, ‘I have a few apartments’ and maybe consider doing the same. We’re not doing this to rub it on anyone’s face, we understand that some people are not able to do this, but some of them are, we have never done anything like this either.
In the future, Daniel hopes homelessness will be addressed effectively for everyone and there will be more government support.
“The government acts like it’s helping, but it doesn’t,” he said.
“When I was homeless I saw a lot of new faces. I hope for more support for the homeless. In Nottingham there are a lot of abandoned buildings and I would like them to be put to use. [his new home] is perfect for me. I have everything I need.
As well as having a roof over his head, Daniel continues to receive daily support from West Bridgford Convent.
The convent is a Christian charity that helps the homeless.
“The position I’m in now is so different,” he said.
“I was able to go to the doctor. I lost so much weight when I was there, I was at breaking point. But now I stay positive.
“I am looking forward to the New Year, it will be the time to prepare myself and start looking for more jobs. People say ‘there are no jobs there’, but I have seen people quit one job, straight into another and I won’t quit.
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