Homeless Preston man gets life-saving operation thanks to community support

Posted on - 18th January, 2020 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, People, Preston News
A homeless man outside the closed BHS store Pic: Tony Worrall
Pic: Tony Worrall

A man who was living on the streets of Preston has received a life-saving operation after local organisations and charities stepped in to help.


Jack (not his real name), 27, was homeless, suffering from a brain tumour and in desperate need of an operation.

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Having no fixed address, Jack’s planned surgery had been cancelled twice, with the hospital refusing to operate due to concerns surrounding his recovery.

Sleeping on the streets, Jack admits he would often go to Preston A&E when the nights were coldest, knowing his health problems at least guaranteed a safe place to rest for a few hours. However, unable to find a home and therefore get the treatment he desperately needed, Jack’s situation was looking increasingly dire.

Things began to change following a meeting at Preston Job Centre between Jack and his work coach. Wanting to help, the coach approached Karen Hunt and Claire McKay from Preston social housing group Community Gateway (CGA), who were there conducting their weekly drop-in service.


Moved by Jack’s story, the pair knew they wanted to help and quickly drew up ‘Operation Find Jack a Home’. After consulting with colleagues, they were able to find Jack a suitable property to live in.

Read more: Almost 200 people are homeless in Preston and the surrounding areas

Karen and Claire then reached out to various charities for assistance, helping find essential funding and household goods.

Jack moved into his new flat just in time for Christmas and has been overwhelmed by the support he has received.

Finally able to supply the hospital with a fixed address, Jack was approved for his operation shortly after Christmas. Jack underwent surgery at the beginning of January and is currently recovering at his new home.

Read more: Ribbleton man shares his story of life on the streets to give hope to the homeless

Karen, who is a Welfare Benefit Officer at CGA, said, “Everyone was obviously very touched by Jack’s situation.

“Help came quickly and it has been heartening to see so many people from different agencies come together to make a real difference to this young man’s life.

“Jack’s own determination to improve his life has been very evident throughout the entire process; doing everything that was asked of him, from attending appointments at the drop of a hat to always providing all necessary paperwork.

“We are very proud to have helped Jack.”

Read more: Big PNE Sleep Out raises £80,000 for The Foxton Centre

What do you think of Jack’s story and the help he received? Let us know in the comments.

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