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GeneralMust Read‘I Feel Safer On The Streets. People Look Out For Me’ – Former High-Flying Banker Is Now Homeless And Living In A Bus Shelter

‘I Feel Safer On The Streets. People Look Out For Me’ – Former High-Flying Banker Is Now Homeless And Living In A Bus Shelter

A former high-flying banker, who claims to have once taught rock climbing to Princess Beatrice, is now homeless and living in a bus shelter.

Concerned well-wishers are inundating the homeless man, known as Jim, with bedding, clothing and food, after he fell on hard times and took up residence in the brick shelter.

They fear as the nights get colder, the “super polite and genuine” rough sleeper might not make it through the winter.

The 51-year-old, who set up camp at the shelter outside a pub in Gillingham, Kent, said his life had taken a downturn.

The self-confessed “loner” said, at 17, got a job working for accounts at the Swiss Bank Corporation.

he bus shelter on Watling Street, Gillingham. Jim, 51, a former banker who once taught rock climbing to Princess Beatrice, is now homless, living in a bus shelter in Gillingham.

In his early 20s, he was self-employed and earning good money, and after the Gulf War got a job in Kuwait.

He said: “I was earning £20 an hour which was a high salary in those days.”

Jim then started to pursue his love of travelling, but says he became hooked on crack and heroin.

He got deported and says he got work at an outdoor activities centre in Weymouth, Dorset, where he trained Princess Beatrice how to rock climb, before falling on hard times and ending up on the street.

He said: “I was intimidated and threatened. Eventually I thought I’d be better off on the streets and I am.

“I feel safer out here. People look out for me. It has restored my faith in human nature.”

One resident said Jim has become a “local celebrity” after moving into the quiet bus stop earlier this year.

He said: “I don’t like accepting money like some people.

“You don’t know you could be giving somebody £10 to take an overdose which could potentially kill them – and you would never know.

“People come along for a chat and sometimes talk about their problems.

“I sometimes have to beg them to take stuff back and give it to somebody who needs it more than me.”

Apart from food and drink, some also drop in a national newspaper.

Jim, 51, a former banker who once taught rock climbing to Princess Beatrice, is now homless, living in a bus shelter in Gillingham.

He said: “I like to keep up with the news. I read the Daily Mail and I like the Telegraph, but that probably is not the right image for a homeless person.”

Star landlady Laura Bolt says her staff have taken Jim under their wing.

They take warm drinks over to him and he has been invited inside for a meal.

She said: “Our doormen watch out for him to make sure he’s not mugged or attacked at night.

“He likes to chat and is very articulate. He does not seem like your usual down-and-out.

“You feel there’s definitely more of a story behind him.

“He’s always polite, super grateful for whatever people give him.”

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