John (not his real name) has been living in the Ballytivnan Hostel for the past two months and before that for three months in Maryville, another homeless shelter in Sligo. John holds a degree and is currently studying for his Masters. He's not what many would see as a typical homeless person. He worked part-time in various jobs but the recession limited his opportunities. A gambling addiction didn't help matters and John, his in his 40s, fell behind in rent. "It was an addiction that got worse over time. I was gambling crazy. I would bet on anything, mainly racing, staying in the bookies all day. There were weeks where I had nothing, not even food. I got a notice to quit my house earlier this year." With the help of Sligo Social Services he's been to gambling counselling and is clearing his rent arrears with a view to going back to the private rented sector.