A VETERAN has said that he owes everything to a local businessman who offered him shelter when he was homeless.

John Todd, 47, was homeless earlier this year after suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and turning to alcohol.

He was forced to move out of his home after not making the payments for his flat.

He said: “I had no clothing or food and I was sleeping on the streets. It was a really tough time because on top of this I was still suffering with PTSD.

“I was hitting the drink to try and get rid of those feelings and I was with a not-so-clever landlord, it was inevitable that I was going to end up homeless in that situation.”

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In the summer, whilst sleeping on the streets, John met Craig Phillips, director of G8 Property, a lettings agent based in Barnsley and a fellow armed forces veteran.

John said: “We came across each other by chance but it was lucky I did. We served in the same regiment. I had no clothes, so he took me out and bought me some clothes and then he bought me some food and paid my rent for the first two weeks in one of his properties.

“I owe him everything. I really appreciate his help and I hope that one day I will be able to return the favour.”

Craig, who started his business four years ago, said he had always had helping veterans at the forefront of his mind.

The 45-year-old said that G8 Property is dedicated to helping people like John.

“We have helped a lot of homeless veterans, but it’s not just about rehousing them, it’s about making sure that they get help,” he said.

“We help put them in touch with other organisations to ensure that they are looked after mentally, physically and financially.

“I’m glad to be able to tell everyone that John is doing well now. He’s finally in a stable position and actually living a nice lifestyle.

“Being a veteran myself it seemed natural when I found myself in this position to help people.”

Craig joined the Coldstream Guards when he was 16-years-old and spent six years in the forces.

He has now been nominated for a Silver Award from the Employee Recognition Scheme in conjunction with the Armed Forces Covenant. A Silver Award means that the company must actively ensure that their workforce is aware of their positive policies towards the issues ex-forces people face.

Craig said: “There are 1,600 vacant properties in Barnsley and I want to ensure that we do all that we can to help veterans and homeless people in general.”