Homeless soldier is battling PTSD in makeshift camp on river bank
A soldier who fought in Afghanistan is now homeless and living in a shack by a river.
The 27-year-old squaddie, known only as Jake, was diagnosed with PTSD after struggling to cope with seeing his friends blown up by bombs in Helmand Province.
Jake left the Army after serving for six years and was moved into temporary accommodation.
But he became homeless when his relationship broke down in the summer.
The former tank driver is now living with a group of other homeless people in a makeshift camp by a river in Worcester.
Jake now uses his military training to help the group gather wood, make shelter and keep warm.
He said: We are just trying to survive, its winter and its freezing cold.
We wont be here forever. We dont have parties or loud music, we keep ourselves to ourselves.
We are stuck outside as theres no emergency housing available – all the places have been taken up.
We were staying in “tent town” on the riverside but we were moved.
We were sleeping in doorways in town and then we were moved on again.
We try and keep the camp as clean as we can. We use a bucket to urinate in and we pour it down the drain.
When we start fires we only use dead wood. We never cut down the trees and make sure the fires are done in a controlled pit for safety.
The camp is fairly well camouflaged so we doubt that passers-by can see the site.
Jake has been in contact with military charities in a bid to find him more permanent accommodation but so far he has been unable to find a room.
Worcester City Council, which owns the land where the camp is, said: We have been monitoring the rough sleepers on this site and intend to start proceedings shortly to move them on from this location.
We are liaising closely with the police and local agencies that deal with rough sleepers to assess the welfare of the people on the site.