A MAN who has spent the last 37 years living on the streets, returned to Chepstow this week to offer work to its “kind people” in return for food.
Sat on a bench on Pye corner in the middle of Chepstow this week, Peter Rumple had a sign in front of him which read: Will work for food.
Mr Rumple, 59, originally from London, said he has been coming back to Chepstow for six years. He said: “Everyone knows me here. They are kind people in Chepstow.”
On Monday, a woman had brought him a sandwich, while another left money behind the bar of a nearby cafe so he could get hot drinks.
He said he already has some gardening work arranged for two days this week, but he only works for food, not money. He said: “I’ll get fish and chips for the work on Wednesday. I can’t remember the last time I had fish and chips.”
A religious man, Mr Rumple is a member of the Salvation Army and said he’s just trying to save for a deposit. He said: “I just take it day by day and goes where the road takes me.”
Mr Rumple said he ended up on the streets after his wife and child were killed in a car crash. “I just went AWOL on the drink. They were my everything.”
Mr Rumple admitted being an alcoholic but said he hasn’t had a drink for eight years.
“I tried to change my life,” he said. “I’d love to work for money, but you can’t get a proper job without an address.”
As a single man, neither reliant on drugs or alcohol, he has found it hard to find help, claiming he doesn’t “fit the criteria” of most homeless services and isn’t “vulnerable enough.”
He added: “You are either lucky or unlucky in life and I am one of the unlucky ones.”