A man who spent time in prison has now completely turned his life around and is helping others to do the same by turning a shipping container into a liveable space so homeless people with drug addictions can get clean.
Hayden Lee Jessop, from Leeds, got into drugs and violence as a young man, and it eventually led him down the path to prison.
He spent seven weeks inside back in 2013, but now as a 28-year-old father-of-two he’s decided to help others change their situations, as he has.
The Pudsey resident founded Vulnerable Citizen Support Leeds and is now embarking on a journey to create a viable microhome for those without a fixed address so that they can free themselves from drugs.
The shelter is built out of a shipping container that Hayden imported up from Bristol and it is intended to be a home for six months to someone who is on a one-year long detox programme.
The plan is that they’ll live independently in the home whilst they get clean and learn basic employment skills.
If they’ve got a pet, it’ll be able to live there as well.
The eventual plan is that there’ll be eight homes, and those who will eventually live in them will help to build them.
Once they’re all built, Hayden wants to move them to their own private piece of land. Currently, they are in a storage unit space in Armley.
“We’ll get people the help they need, and in return they can repay us by helping to build more homes so we can help even more people.
“A lot of the people I help have never been in work. For example if they are from a criminal background and have been in and out of jail.”
He continued: “Spending time inside changed my life. I went to jail and came out and built a business.
“I was given a second chance, but a lot of young men don’t get that.”
Businesses have been doing their best to help the project out, as well. The timber that will clad the inside of the containers has been donated by a company in nearby Halifax.
Work on the first microhome is expected to be completed in the next few months.
Hayden added: “What I’d really like is for the council to get on board.
“It would be great if this project could be something people are referred to.
“I have spoken with the council and they seem prepared to support us with anything to help tackle our homelessness problem.”