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A homeless man who lives outside a Lidl supermarket has said he "wouldn't be here" without customer donations.
Jonathan Taylor, 33, said he had been living on the streets since his mum took her life eight years ago.
The former tyre fitter was evicted from his home and claimed he won't go to a hostel over fears he'll start using drugs again.
Claiming friends had also died by suicide, he told HullLive: "My mum killed herself two days before my birthday and I found her in our house.
"Three days after they evicted me and I lost all my stuff as I couldn't afford storage.
"That was eight years ago and I've been on the streets ever since.
"I do get looked down on and it's horrible but I feel safe on the street."
The university dropout added: "Hull is one of the best places to be. We are hard resilient people that have gone through trawler tragedies and hardships.
"Hull is brilliant I wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t these nice people looking after me at Lidl. Without their generosity I wouldn’t be here.
"I used to cry about having no shoes and then I saw a man with no feet, and thought that there’s a lot worse off than me."
Mr Taylor said he had been sleeping rough like there's "no pandemic" due to fears over getting lured back into a life of crime and drugs in hostels.
He said: "I won't stay in a hostel as I say 'don’t lie with dogs with fleas as you catch them.
"They are rife with smack, crack, spice, pills, knives and prostitution.
"I did use when I first lived on the streets and dabbled with drugs but I think they saved my life as when my mum died the drugs just put me out of it and numbed all the pain.
"I’m off the drugs now and don't drink, but have been very low and wanted to kill myself before, but someone stopped me.
"My friends have committed suicide though and it’s very sad."
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He claimed he'd grab any opportunity at employment, but can't without a registered address.
"All I want is a job and another opportunity at life – I've got A Levels and GCSEs and started at university," he said.
"I've got a driving licence and used to work as a tyre fitter but nobody will take me on.
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"I just keep my head down and out of trouble and I’ve never stole a thing in my life.
"I’d rather sit and beg than go and steal.
"I just sit here outside Lidl reading my book and put a cup out if anyone wants to give me some spare change and often the kind-hearted people of Hull will share some of their food shop with me as they are leaving.
"Their compassion really means a lot."
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