Chris Sylvester was a registered heroin addict at the age of thirteen years and spent the next twenty years as a career criminal, habitual drug user and, eventually destitute and living rough begging on the streets of Leeds until he descended into an abyss of despair and near death.

With the support of St Georges Crypts’ 12 step recovery programme Growing Rooms, Chris embarked upon a process of rehabilitation and recovery and it was here that he was introduced to Natalie and Andy of The Howarth Foundation, a small family charity with a remit of helping those with a chaotic lifestyle and or homeless back into society through introduction to meaningful employment.

Chris is now two and a half years’ clean and is employed by The Howarth Foundation, working alongside Natalie and Andy as client coordinator identifying and supporting those in a similar position that he once endured.

Chris is currently furloughed due to the coronavirus pandemic but has taken up a role working nights and weekends managing the homeless and destitute temporarily housed by Leeds City Council throughout the city. Whilst being furloughed Chris is working outside of his contracted hours as a representative of St Georges Crypt, the organisation instrumental in his recovery and St Anne’s Resource Centre, a vital component to the homeless support teams in the city.

The general public are largely unaware of the fate of the homeless during this crisis and so Chris is making a series of video diaries highlighting the amazing work of many agencies in Leeds who have come together to provide a lifeline to those who would normally be living a life on the street.

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

Day Five