Art turning Bedford homeless man's life around
A former homeless man who thought he might be dead soon says he is turning his life around through art.
Alex Watt, 21, who is living at a YMCA property in Bedford, said he was not "going anywhere", was in a "very bad place" due to drink and was "doing silly things".
After two successful art exhibitions he is planning to go back to college and train to be a graphic designer.
The charity said his future was "positive" due to his hard work.
"I was just putting the wrong things first and I ended up messing up a little bit," he said.
He said he was homeless and sofa-surfing for about five years until he got a place in YMCA accommodation in 2017.
After being encouraged to take part in an exhibition showcasing the work of homeless people, he said it gave him confidence in his art.
"I didn't think I had the ability. I didn't see myself getting any further than that year," he said.
With support from Paul Kellet, his mentor at YMCA Bedfordshire, Mr Watt said he found new focus.
Mr Kellett said he felt "positive" about the future.
"I've been doing this work for 30 years and it's stories like Alex's that keep me going and believing," he said.
Since taking part in an exhibition of homeless people's art at Bedford's Riverside North complex, he has had a solo show at King's House on Ampthill Road where he sold all five of his paintings for about £400.
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"If I wasn't in the YMCA, I think I would be going round and round in circles, and probably end up on the streets or worse, just not alive really because I did not think I would get this far at all," said Mr Watt.