Cornwall

Homeless man turns Truro car park space into home

Sweeping floor
Image caption Paul has scrubbed the floor and keeps the space clean

A homeless man has turned a parking space on the fourth floor of a multi-storey into his personal "hotel" complete with framed pictures, bedding and a cardboard carpet.

Paul Lindsay-Jones, 55, transformed the disabled spot in Truro, Cornwall, after being evicted about two weeks ago.

"I take pride," he said. "Some people are on the street with just a sleeping bag but I like a bit of luxury."

The local council said it would meet to discuss Paul's situation.

'Eight-storey hotel'

He said he found pictures and furnishings by raiding bins and skips around the city, with other pieces donated by charities.

Paul, who is originally from Bodmin, has made a small table, and is making a sofa from two chairs.

He said he planned to get some carpet next.

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Media captionPaul Lindsay Jones gives a tour of his parking space home

Paul said the space, which boasts flowers and a doormat with "Home" written on it, was his "own eight-storey hotel".

Among the flowers and clocks there is a landline phone with a cable running from it.

"It doesn't work but it's a bit of luxury, isn't it?" he said.

"There are people living on the streets just lying on a sleeping bag. But I like a bit of luxury. It's about using your brain.

"I keep it clean and cause no problems. I'm polite with the public and the security guys have no problem with me."

Image caption The space is decorated with paintings and pictures

While Paul, who is deaf and lip reads, said he was "sad to be evicted" from his former home, he also said he was enjoying taking care of the space.

"I don't mind it - it's my hotel. I've got my own eight-storey hotel. I keep it clean and don't get any complaints."

Despite being offered accommodation in Newquay and St Austell, Paul said he wanted to stay in Truro.

"I get on with people here," he said.

Image caption The telephone does not work but Paul says it is a piece of "luxury"
Image caption Paul Lindsay-Jones describes the space as his own "eight storey hotel"

Justin Day, legal director of local homeless charity St Petroc's Society, said: "It is a sad story as he was evicted from his former property but our outreach teams are visiting him daily and trying to build up trust.

"We are ultimately trying to entice him into our resettlement centres but he doesn't want that at the moment."

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Image caption The car park is in the middle of the city

The safeguarding team at Cornwall Council has triggered a multi-agency meeting to discuss his situation and said the car park has 19 other disabled parking bays.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service has said it is not concerned about a fire risk.

Safer Truro said in a statement: "We are aware Moorfield car park continues to be an area where individuals rough sleep.

"We continue to monitor this, and extensive work is taking place to continue to support and offer suitable accommodation options, safeguard individuals and take appropriate action to reduce any escalating concerns."

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