Rich businessman who became homeless turns it around
Rich businessman who became homeless reveals how he turned it back around.
“I was a money man and I had whatever I wanted.”
Barry conveys an air of optimism and hope when he talks. His story drives home the reality of how close we all are to being homeless but what a difference a second chance and perspective can make.
Barry owned his own building company for 20 years. It turned over a lot of money and was highly successful. He met his wife at just 19 and they had their fair share of ups and downs in the relationship but having 2 children made Barry determined not to destroy the family but to stand by them. It wasn’t until years later, he discovered that his wife had been stealing from the company and was planning to leave him. Barry left the house and marriage devastated.
Barry eventually met someone new. However, after a long while into this relationship, he discovered that she had another man and was only with him for money. This revelation broke him.
Having nowhere else to go, Barry went to his brothers. They didn’t get along, however he let Barry stay while he was away during the week. During the rest of the time, Barry slept either in his van or underneath it. Drugs had become an addiction and he was finding it hard to maintain the habit, becoming a dealer to support it. One time he lost his van key and as he lay under the van it started snowing. He felt like giving up. Barry experienced a breakdown, his life went to pieces. He tried to commit suicide 3 times, failing each time. He felt he couldn’t get much lower than knowing he’d failed at that.
He was given numbers to call for help with housing and was given the possibility of a hostel. “It was never something he had thought about as I was a money man and I had whatever I wanted.” Barry described where he went as a cross between a mental institution and a prison. “It’s scary when you first go. There were drugs on every floor, and I just kept in my room.” He even had a couple of death threats whilst he was there. Barry wanted to feel like a real person again and knew that he needed to move from where he was. After 4months, he found out about Restore. Paddy came down and a month later he moved in. “There’s only 3 people in the house and you can have a bath! I love to cook and there is a nice big kitchen. They stopped me from feeling lost. I helped in the garden, planted trees and bought lights. I became a volunteer helping to train others in bricklaying and building and helping them get into college.
I’m never going back.
After trying to commit suicide and knowing you’re still here – I'm obviously here for a purpose. You see a light at Restore. They are all Christians and I have my own beliefs, but seeing people come off crack and helping others, I can go to bed smiling and wake up smiling because of purpose.”
Barry now has a granddaughter and loves being able to be present and be a proper grandad. He also has restored the relationship with his mum and dad. “I get to see them every day now. Once they saw that I was making an effort, with drug testing each week and the more I tried, the more they tried. Life is great now. I can’t believe I wasted so much time, but people need to hit rock bottom, then you appreciate what life is all about.”
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