He braved the elements sleeping on Scottish streets during Storm Arwen. And sitting on the pavements of London no one spoke to him for seven days.
But Richard Roncero, 37, is undeterred.
The dad-of-three was registered homeless for most of his adult life while struggling with a cocaine and alcohol addiction.
However, after speaking to someone recovering from drug addiction, Richard was motivated to seek help and enter rehab.
He is now almost seven years clean and sober.
Since turning his life around, he has launched charity Steps to Hope – using his own lived experience to help homeless people also battling addiction issues.
Now he’s in Dundee – sleeping on the street – hoping to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with homelessness.
His five-week rough sleep aims to raise money for the charity, which provides people with a free, safe space to stay in while they recover.
‘I want to change the perception of homelessness’
Since October, Richard has set up his sleeping bag in his home town of Edinburgh, as well as Glasgow, London and Liverpool.
He then headed north to Aberdeen, where Storm Arwen forced him to extend his stay on the streets.
Now, Richard is spending the final week of his fundraising efforts sleeping rough in Dundee city centre.
He explains: “I left home on October 30 with no money, just a sleeping bag and I hit the streets.
“I want to try and change the perception of homelessness and addiction and maybe people can have a bit more compassion towards those on the streets.
“Addiction is such a taboo subject with a lot of stigma attached to it. I wanted to document how challenging it actually is living on the streets.”
‘Dundee has been very friendly’
Richard is ending his five-week long fundraising effort in Dundee, where he says people are more friendly and accepting than in the likes of London.
He continues: “I spent my first night in Dundee at the Caird Hall, but it was so windy I had to move. I’ve been dotted about in places like St Paul’s Cathedral.
“Dundee has been very friendly. I’ve been handing out leaflets to the public and at least the ones who don’t want one say ‘no, thank you’.
“When I went to London, not one person spoke to me. I walked about for seven days and it was a culture shock. No one would engage.
“I was saying hello to people and they would look at me as if to say ‘Why are you speaking to me?’ I was so isolated.”
Since being in Dundee, Richard met two men who have now been referred to Steps to Hope and are on the charity’s waiting list for support.
‘You feel so worthless’
Sleeping rough is difficult all year round. But in the winter when temperatures can drop below 0°C, it can be unbearable.
Richard continues: “It’s freezing. This morning, for example, it was 4.45am and I was shivering in my sleeping bag to the point where I was physically and mentally drained.
“But I had to get up and start moving just to get some heat in me. You’re walking about waiting for places to open so you can get inside.
“I’m having to sacrifice my sleep to get up and keep moving. It’s exhausting.
“It’s demoralising putting a cup in front of you, looking up at someone and asking for change. You feel so worthless.
“I’ve had five showers in the last five weeks so you don’t even feel clean, you just feel disconnected. It’s absolutely horrendous.”
‘Give someone a smile’
While raising money for Steps to Hope has been the main aim of Richard’s journey, it’s also about changing perceptions of homelessness and encouraging compassion.
He urges: “We can’t walk down the high street and put a pound in every person’s cup.
“But we can give someone a smile. Give them a minute of your time. Ask them how they’re doing, how their day has been.
“For me, that’s been so much more valuable than 50p in my cup.”