About this time one year ago, Paul Squires died.
By cutting the main artery on his right wrist, he intended to end his life in the park where he had been sleeping rough for almost seven months.
But God wanted it otherwise. As if by a miracle, the paramedics who found him managed to bring him back to life, although they first pronounced him clinically dead.
Soon after he was released from hospital, where he had been on suicide watch for a week, Paul was back on the streets. There, he went ahead and cut his other wrist.
This, however, is the story about how Paul was brought back to life. Not just medically, but spiritually.
Because Paul lived, today, with the help of the YMCA, he is in a situation so far removed from last year’s nightmare that it almost feels like just that: a dream, a blur, unreal.
The council has also provided Paul with a flat, he regularly sees his daughter, and as if that wasn’t enough, he is now thinking about doing a degree and becoming a mentor for people with mental health issues.
Some weeks ago, Paul even got married.
“For me, moving in to the YMCA meant I finally got a roof over my head,” Paul says. “But it’s not just that. I soon started going to the Wellbeing groups set up for the residents by the Chaplaincy Team, and to the Monday prayer meetings with Jacky. In May, I also went on the Life Journey trip.”
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