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Homeless King's Lynn man tells of life sharing a tent

A homeless man has told of how he has been sharing a tent with two others in a Lynn park after being turned away from accommodation.

James Evans started sofa-surfing in 2007, first in Norwich then West Yorkshire, after his mother died.

Having moved back to Lynn, Mr Evans had, this month, been provided accommodation at a town hotel.

James Evans has been sleeping in a tent in The Walks(40490664)
James Evans has been sleeping in a tent in The Walks(40490664)

But he claims he was kicked out after two homeless women had reportedly been shouting at his window over the fact he had been provided accommodation, but not them.

Mr Evans said he had also been refused rehousing by West Norfolk Council and was planning to lodge an appeal against that decision.

He is now sharing a tent with two other people in the Walks and said: “Being back in a tent is wrong for me because of my physical disabilities and being in the high risk category for coronavirus.

“There is no help for homeless people at the moment. I have been kicked out [of the hotel] for something that was not my fault.

“I was only there for a weekend, and these girls were shouting and screaming at me.”

The Lynn-born man says he has hip dysplasia, scoliosis and arthritis, as well as suffering from anxiety and depression.

He has been with the Purfleet Trust, but said he was asked to leave following an incident in which another individual kicked a table.

Regarding sleeping in a tent, Mr Evans added: “We are in the middle of nowhere so that we are not disturbing anyone. We have been collecting twigs to make a little campfire.

“We are trying to keep it tidy and take away our rubbish every morning. There are three of us in there. The other two are able bodied, one is Lithuanian and the other has just been offered a temporary place through Purfleet.”

Mr Evans said the Purfleet has been providing him with food, although his allergies have made some meals difficult, meaning he has sometimes had to stick to bread and butter.

He said he sometimes struggles to eat meals because his stomach has shrunk, and he has gone from weighing 15 stone to under 12 stone over the last six months.

His fiancée is also homeless and has been living in Exeter, where Mr Evans has recently returned from.

A spokesman for West Norfolk Council said they could not discuss Mr Evans’ specific case.

But he added: “All persons applying to a local housing authority as homeless would be subject to an investigation and decision making process in accordance with relevant legislation, guidance and case law.”

The Purfleet Trust was also asked to comment, but had not responded at the time of going to press.

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