Man left sleeping rough in a cupboard in Halifax town centre after falling to the credit crunch

Gareth Hardy
Gareth Hardy

Gareth Hardy was forced to spend over three months sleeping rough in a cupboard after falling victim to the credit crunch.

He ended up on the streets of Halifax, living in a space just big enough to lie down in, at just 31 after being made redundant.

He spent his days walking around the town or sitting in a phone box.

“I felt empty,” he said. “There was no one around to help me.”

The cupboard is in an alley, off Wards End. Every night he would climb in and try to keep warm under cardboard boxes.

After being made redundant, Gareth found he could no longer afford his rent. He had grown up in foster care and had no family or friends he could turn to,

He tried to find a place in a hostel but said all had long waiting lists and the nearest he could find was in Rochdale. He was eventually helped by Joe Sutcliffe, who used to be homeless himself, and secured him a place at a Christian community house where he is also staying.

Now Gareth has started his own painting and decorating business and recently undertook a 116-mile sponsored cycle, raising over £400 to help other homeless people. “I think there should be more help for the homeless in Halifax,” he said.