Today is Saturday and that means a trip to the Lansdowne for lunch that is run by wonderful people and today I am getting a hot meal at lunch time – Horary, but first it’s over to the day centre for a shower, shave and a little breakfast. We get told to leave at 8.30 as usual and I wait around the local area for 10.30 as it’s a Saturday, I have no work today, so no preparations need to be done. I wait the long 2 hours before we are allowed back in as this morning I am staying in the day centre, as I want some comfy chair to sit on and not the concrete floor or deck chair, and while I am there I can get my washing done for 50p. Just before 12noon, I head towards to the place for lunch, plenty of Tea, coffee, food and cakes which I take for later and will do me for the rest of the day.
After Lunch, I head towards the library to check emails etc and to again sit on comfy chairs etc. MY mind is wandering thinking about sleeping on the streets tonight, but there is nothing else I can sort out, all the agencies are closed and are still failing my HRT test, OH what to do, luckily it’s a nice and warm day. Early evening I walk from the town centre to my sleeping place, but as it is a Saturday night there are lots of people around, so cannot even think of sleeping still at least 11.30pm.
Sunday morning, nice and sunny at 5.30am!! Cannot get back to any sleep if you can call it that, so pack up my things and start a slow walk to the day centre for breakfast & shower etc. Today is going to be an odd day, nothing to do as the library is not open, so you have to amuse yourself and not look homeless with this bag that I am carrying with me.
Today there is a lunch at the day centre for those with a voucher from street services, it’s typically chips, bean and something, but it’s a hot meal and I need all the calories I can get whilst sleeping on the street.
The rest of the day is spent wandering the town trying to find somewhere quiet to sit and do nothing, not easy on a hot sunny day in the height of summer with all the tourists around.
I head towards Alum Chine at around 8pm, still lots of people around at 11pm so no early night for me today.
The people at work have no idea that I am homeless, when they ask where I live I say Alum Chine, I do not invite them round, or give any more details to what I am currently doing. I go to work with a medium bag that can pass as a lunch bag but only just – I am getting a few comments about why I am carrying a large ish bag, compared to them. I skirt the question and come up with an answer that keeps them at bay for now.
We stop work at 4pm, we are called around the supervisor’s desk and told we have to go home, what only 1.5 hours into an 8 hr shift – not on!!. They say there is not enough room in the warehouse for the stuff we are making, well that’s not our fault, but we lose 6.5 hrs pay because of this.
Because of this short work day I was able to get an evening meal at another soup run at a local church, this sets me up for the disappointment of not working a full shift.
I wake throughout the night, probably down to the surrounding and stress of it all sleeping rough that is, and I am eventually fully awake at 6am, so it’s time to hide the deck chair and head towards the night shelter for some breakfast, a shower and a change of clothes. I am pleased that it’s still the summer and is currently dry last night. But it still goes cold at night, I must find a way of keeping warmer than I am presently.
Once the day centre has kicked us out at 8.30am as they are only allowed us homeless people to be there between 7.30 and 8.30am and then 10.30-13.30. I head over to the library all nice and fresh, and do not look as a homeless person.
The story will continue on my next blog over the next few days, hopefully I can get to an internet cafe tomorrow morning before I go to work and write some more for you. If you would like to get in touch please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and please support the world homeless day on the 10th October – even if you only give a few pounds / dollars / Euros to a homeless charity (the smaller ones would benefit more than the larger ones) that would be great – But don’t forgot I am also raising money for my local homeless people and places that I used to get free food from as well as clothing. So before you go and get that coffee from the shop tomorrow, the price of that coffee could be used to feed the homeless on YOUR local streets – you will not miss the coffee, but the food would be welcomed by the homeless.
Thank you for reading and watch out for the next post.