Former homeless man urges people to talk to rough sleepers

Former drug addict, Walshy (Richard Walsh), also known as Street Shots, with some of his photographs

Richard Walsh, who used to be homeless - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

A recovering drug addict who spent time sleeping on the streets has urged people to stop and talk to homeless people.

Richard Walsh, 43, from Norwich, used to live in penthouse flat and run a CCTV installation company.

But the father-of-three ended up sleeping in cemeteries and wheelie bins, between 2012-14 and 2017-18.

He said he lost his relationship, home and business due to his drug habit, which involved taking heroin, ecstasy, cocaine and crack cocaine.

Mr Walsh, who is now off the drugs and has a flat, was talking as Shelter figures revealed the number of homeless people in the city.

The street photographer said: "Being homeless is soul-destroying. It zaps so much of your personality. You feel lonely and give up on yourself.

"You are always on edge and don't think you can get out of it.

"I'd say to anyone walking past a homeless person, speak to them. Take time out of your day. It would mean the world to them." 

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