My name is Paul Robinson and last year I was sleeping rough on the streets of Nottingham. I'd been a rough sleeper off and on for over 10 years, I'm 47 years old. I set up a crowd funding appeal to purchase a small boat to live on to get me off the street.
Unfortunately due to my inexperience with boats I bought one that was wholly unsuited to being a permanent live aboard. The cabin is cramped and far too small to even stand up in. There is no heating(winter was brutal). And the ignition broke within weeks of me buying the boat making even starting the boat hit and miss. Despite these problems I still maintain that it's far better and safer than sleeping rough, especially in the winter.
What I'd like to try and do is raise enough money to purchase a more suitable home for myself. On top of that I'd like to raise enough before winter to deal with some of the problems with this boat so that I can pass it on to another rough sleeper to get them off the streets before winter.
Deciding on a target amount was very difficult as how much I need will depend on what's available to buy once enough funds are in. I've decided to err on the side of caution and put the target at £15,000. I certainly don't expect to raise this much but the higher the amount I reach the greater chance I have of buying a real home for myself.
Any funds in excess to my needs will all go towards ensuring that another rough sleeper will be off the streets, hopefully licensing and insuring the boat for them and trying to give them the best start possible on their new boat.