Homeless man with cancer finally has his own home after nearly 40 years on the streets
A homeless man has a place to call his own for the first time in nearly 40 years so he can give himself the best chance of beating prostate cancer.
The pensioner, who is known only as Frank, has been sleeping rough in Kensington, London.
He hasn’t had a home since leaving his Paddington bedsit in the 1980s, MyLondon reports.
But after being offered help by council worker Gavin Stewart, the timing was right so he can focus on his health.
He has now been moved into a home for the first time in almost four decades.
Frank said: “I hadn’t really been indoors for seven years. I’ve got a locked front door so I don’t have to sleep with one eye open, which is a help.
“I went to hotels and moved in for a week but I never really bothered to settle down. Forty years later I got prostate cancer.
“The night after I got prostate cancer, Gavin was in the doorway. I knew I had to go indoors. I actually look forward to going back to my flat, turning the telly on, making a cup of coffee and watching the television.
“There’s a good quality of life there that wasn’t there on the street.”
Frank is one of many rough sleepers being supported by Kensington and Chelsea Council’s Dual Diagnosis Service in the last two years.
The scheme helps rough sleepers off the streets into accommodation and provides services like counselling, group therapy, detox and rehab.
Councillor Kim Taylor-Smith, in charge of housing, said: “For many rough sleepers, and especially those who have been outdoors for a long time, the journey off the streets and into a safe home can seem insurmountable.
“Our Dual Diagnosis Service gives rough sleepers the support they need to make those changes and it’s humbling to hear how a warm bed or a locked front door – things that many of us take for granted – mean so much to someone like Frank.
“While the number of people sleeping on our streets remains low, we and our partners will not stop until we eliminate rough sleeping for good.”