Sheffield man sets up firm in bid to provide homes and jobs for homeless people
A Sheffield man who has been homeless himself has set up a not-for-profit company to provide people with somewhere to live and create jobs and work experience.
Brian Gleadless set up Sheffessca Enterprises Ltd last August. It aims to raise money via private donations, government grants and fundraising events to buy derelict or empty buildings and land.The buildings will be transformed into one-bedroomed, self-contained flats for homeless people and anybody else who needs that type of accommodation.
That will create employment and create work experience and training opportunities for unqualified unemployed people with a guarantee of employment at end of training.Brian also plans other property projects to generate income that Sheffessca Enterprises Ltd will use to help meet its social aims.
He said: “My project started through seeing other people handing out food, money and clothing to homeless beggars on the streets of Sheffield and hearing the people telling the homeless how they wish there was more they could do to help them.“It is good of other people to hand out food, money and clothing to the homeless. But the homeless need more than just food, money and clothing, they need somewhere to live!”
He added: “In late 1978 to early 1979, I was a homeless person. My home was a large cardboard box, it was situated on a back street just off Shaftesbury Avenue in central London.
“It became my worst nightmare every time it rained because my box became soggy and often collapsed in on me. My neighbours were the lowest of the low – they were hardened drug addicts, winos, male and female prostitutes.
“These people shared their lives with me and allowed me to see what their side of life is really like, it isn’t the ‘bed of roses’ some people imagine it to be.“It’s a hard life, one where the longer you remain homeless the harder it is to escape! I was one of the lucky ones, I managed to escape and better the quality of my life and lifestyle.”At the moment the company is simply registered with Brian as its sole director, so he is looking for voluntary stakeholders and directors to work with him to make his aims become reality.For more information, go to the Sheffessca Enterprises Ltd Facebook page.