‘I’m living in a bin cupboard’

Connor Edwards
Connor Edwards

A wheelchair-bound man who lives in a bin cupboard has spent more than two weeks in a hospital bed because the council cannot house him.

Homeless Connor Edwards, 44, was admitted after taking an overdose because he could not bear life on the streets.

Connor Edwards is living in a bin cupboard

Connor Edwards is living in a bin cupboard

Kind-hearted hospital staff allowed him to stay in the hope MK Council would find him accommodation.

But this week, desperately in need of his bed, they had no choice but to load him and his wheelchair into a taxi and pay for him to be deposited at the council’s housing office.

As the Citizen went to press, Connor had no idea if he would have a roof over his head. He said: “I’m scared. I’ve spent six months living rough. My only home is a bin cupboard in the service area outside John Lewis.

“I’m gay, and because of that the other homeless people pick on me. I’ve been mugged twice and had all my possessions stolen.”

A former software trainer, Connor lost his job when his legs were paralysed due to diabetic neuropathy.

He was evicted from his Wolverton council house 18 months ago after getting into rent arrears due to bedroom tax demands.

“The council has put me into bed and breakfast accommodation twice, but each time I’ve been forced to leave and go back on the streets,” he said.

“Because I’m not mentally ill and I’m not a drug user or alcoholic, I don’t have enough priority points for them to allocate me a house.”

Connor cannot claim benefits because he has no address. But he refuses to beg for money.

“I survive thanks to the Salvation Army soup runs and going through bins to eat peoples’ left-over takeaway food. I pick up cigarette butts and unpick them to make my roll-ups,” he said.

This week the Citizen asked the council what its plans were when Connor arrived at the housing office.

A spokesman could not give a guarantee that he would be housed before nightfall.

He said: “We are sorry to hear about Mr Edward’s ongoing problems.

“When he comes to the council offices we will be happy to discuss his housing options and also we can offer a care assessment to see what support we can offer.”

At the request of the Citizen, a local businessman has offered to pay for Connor to stay at a city centre hotel for couple of days if the council fails him.

Said Connor: “I can’t thank you enough. I have been screaming for help and only the Citizen has answered.

“You could have quite literally saved my life – this sounds a little dramatic but it’s true.”