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A Coventry man has been living in his car with his dog for the last seven months - and says that he's had no choice, after being told by his local council that he's 'not a priority'.
The 60 year-old, nicknamed, Sharky, has been living in his Toyota Hilux for over a half a year since returning to the UK from Mallorca, and says he hasn't been able to get a job because he has no fixed address.
He's currently on band 2C of Coventry City Council's waiting list - putting him on the same priority level as people already in housing who are looking to move into different accommodation.
"It's messed my life up, I used to be fit and now I can't walk half a mile," he told Coventry Live.
"I used to play golf, I used to walk my dog for miles but I just can't do it now.
"My back is shot from being in this car and through that winter, it messed me up.
"It was one of the worst winters in 40 years.
"I told them I can get a hotel that will take my dog but they wouldn't pay for it.
"They wouldn't give me temporary accommodation.
"I'm homeless and now I've been put on anti-depressants as it's driving me around the bend. I'm just lost."
Sharky does have a friend who works for the council, who said: "He's lived in Coventry for the majority of his life but he's been expected to live in the car since he got back.
The friend - who remained anonymous - added: "I've been sending emails and calling all over the place, Councillors, MPs, and just get referred back to the council's homeless line where he's just told he's not a priority."
Apparently Sharky has been offered accommodation, but only if he gives up his beloved dog. This is something his friend has said he can't do.
"He lives for this dog and there's no way he can just give her up," they said.
"He's been diagnosed with depression and has other health issues - this last seven months has affected him so much and he's not the person we knew.
"The message the council are giving out, in my opinion, is that we don't want to help the homeless."
For their part, a spokesperson for Coventry City Council said: "This man approached the Council's Homeless Service to make a homelessness application.
"His application didn't meet the requirements to be classed as a priority need. This decision was taken in line with the national legislation.
"He and his advocates have requested a review of this decision and this is likely to be decided in the next two weeks.
"In the meantime, our outreach team are making an effort to contact him to offer help and support.
"He can also attend Steps for Change in the city centre for advice and assistance and to discuss the various housing options that are available in the city."
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