My name is James and I was born in Sheffield in 1948. I have a younger brother and an older sister. I grew up in a home that I would say was good. My father was quite hard with his discipline but it never seemed a problem to me. He worked in the steelworks for most of his life and latterly in the building trade.I worked in Sheffield Park’s department when I left school. I did used to drink and although sometimes heavily it was never a problem. I have been married twice my second marriage lasted 15 years. I have four children. My second wife left me and I lived on my own for a long time but eventually my life began to fall apart. I ended up in prison and on my release lived in Doncaster for two years. Here my life really fell apart and I started to use drugs seriously. I ended up losing my home and living on the streets. I have been living on the streets for three years. These years have been the hardest time of my life. The drugs have been replaced by heavy drinking. In these years I started to go to Ben’s centre each day. I was very much lost in my world and refused most offers of help. It seemed easier to me to keep my head down and continue in the life I was living on the streets. It was very hard. Then, due to the dogged persistence of Wendy, the manager at Ben’s, I went into interim accommodation and this was quite difficult for me to adjust to. I am now in a permanent place which is very close to one of the parks I used to work in and also to a church I have started to go to. This has been so wonderful for me and I am very grateful for all the help I have received. I can now look forward to a brighter future and I feel much more hopeful. I can also listen to music in the comfort and warmth of my new home, which is something I love to do.