A FORMER music teacher is pleading to be housed after more than 14 months of living in a tent in Furness.

Lewis Leeming, 37, said he has ‘lost faith in the system’ after reportedly approaching the council more than 10 times for a house.

Mr Leeming, originally from Kent, worked as a music teacher for more than 16 years before he was evicted from his accommodation, forcing him to sleep in his car.

He said: “I returned from a holiday when my landlady had changed my locks.

“Then I just started sleeping in my car.

“I thought I would try and get a job somewhere different for a fresh start and was applying for jobs everywhere.

“I eventually found one in a hotel in Windermere but couldn’t afford accommodation.

“After my car broke down last winter, I didn’t know what to do so decided to put up a tent in the forest.”

Mr Leeming, who taught music classes and workshops in schools, said he has been living in a tent in the woodland area around Broughton for more than a year.

“I feel like I have completely lost direction,” he said.

“I want a job, I want to work and do something with my life but I can’t seem to get anything.

“I feel like a failure and my mental health is definitely suffering because of it.

“I’ve suffered with depression for the past 10 years but feel numb to everything at this point.”

Mr Leeming said he has approached the council more than 10 times about his living situation.

He said: “I initially went to Barrow Council when my car broke down and they wouldn’t deal with me and referred me to Kendal.

“But they said because I don’t have kids, I’m not seen as a top priority to be housed.

“I feel let down by the system and left in the dark.

“It’s frustrating for me, it makes me think what’s the point of trying.

“I don’t even want to engage with them anymore - no one seems to care.”

Mr Leeming is now appealing for help from South Lakeland District Council as his current address falls in their jurisdiction.

Ian Wharton, SLDC for for Broughton and Coniston, said: “In this day and age, this should not be happening.

“There should be a safety net in place for anyone who is struggling. The state should be there to help someone get back on their feet.

“This is not a case I am aware of but if it had been brought to my attention, I would’ve been working on it.

“It seems this may have been a person who has slipped through the net. If I can be of any help, I am more than happy to meet up and find the gentleman a temporary or permanent home.”

A South Lakeland District Council spokesman said: “The council worked with him over a number of months to get him signed up on the housing register and liaise with the housing associations, which provide housing to people on the housing waiting list. It is understood that he has been matched with a property and that the housing association has attempted to contact him.”