Hello everyone, so earlier this week I talked about how I met B., the homeless man who myself and my housemates are trying to raise money for. Since that time, he’s sent across a message that he’s asked me to pass on. I initially added this as an update to the fundraiser itself, but I also thought it appropriate to add here too, in case you missed it. Below B. shares his thanks and the story of what happened to him. I’ve not changed his message or transcribed it myself, so the below is exactly in his own words.
So, I’m terrible at these things and I don’t know where to start apart from obviously ‘Thank you!’ I’ve been on the streets for 18 months now and until I had met Mia, Loretta and Laura I hadn’t come across not only anyone so nice and caring but even anyone willing to give me the time of day, I would sit out from 8am till late afternoon being friendly with the public, wishing people a nice day, complimenting them, waving and smiling at their children (who are always so interested in staring at me and my signs! bless them) And yet 99% of the time all I would receive in return would be abuse, insults, spit and the occasional fist/foot/bottle.
The police give me a hard time because what I do (quietly sitting with my sign, being polite to the public) has been deemed anti social behaviour and a breach of the vagrancy act. So they have tasked multiple officers to constantly make rounds through the areas I sit to ‘catch’ me, to which they will normally tear my signs up, abuse me, arrest me and sometimes ban me from the town center for up to 72 hours (often not letting me collect my things including sleeping bag etc.) So after almost two years of that kind of treatment I’d began to just grow hopeless, I refused to let myself be dragged down to that level but after so many months of that treatment, freezing through the winter, having people assault me in my sleep, setting fire to my tent while I’m asleep inside, having the council confiscate and destroy my belongings and tent if and when they find them, have my possessions (including pictures of my late wife, medication etc. confiscated) I even had a man throw a bucket of water on me while I was asleep freezing in my sleeping bag in -10 degree temperatures, I could not go on anymore.
So to not only find and meet such amazing women as these but to also have them go out of their way to help me (along with you amazing people), really, and I mean this, you aren’t just helping me get my life back, you’ve saved it also.
You deserve to know the backstory as to why I ended up in this position as already the amazing things you have done for me entirely out of good faith deserve some clarification.
After an incredibly bleak childhood + teen years spent mostly alone and feeling unloved, I found myself madly in love married to the woman of my dreams, not only having the best wife and son I could ever dream of but also the best family. My life, everything, was perfect.
My wife suffered with multiple neurological disorders (including M.E) to which her suffering sometimes was completely unbearable, to the point I saw her doctor on her behalf as she couldn’t even get out of bed most days. When I informed him of her pain and issues he responded with (I’m roughly paraphrasing here) ‘ Oh, yuppy flu? That isn’t a medically recognised illness so there isn’t anything I can do apart from refer her to the Community Mental Health Team.’ When I came back to her with this news, she was devastated, I’m sorry I’m going to be brief with the rest of this but already I’m struggling to continue typing what comes next.
My wife, the woman of my dreams took her life not long afterwards.
We were already struggling with rent and shortly afterwards I was illegally evicted by our landlord, I had to place my son in the care of his grandparents (his mothers side) who promptly put it into his head that it was my fault his mother wasn’t around and also explained to him 100% earnestly what he saw (my son was the first person to discover his mother…) Now my son also blames me and wants nothing to do with me.
So in the space of a few weeks I lost my wife, my son, my home and shortly after- my job.
There did come a point where I almost took my own life, until I had a moment of clarity in which I realised just how disgustingly selfish I was being, my son had lost his mother to suicide and now he’d lost his father too? I was ashamed with myself but I had been overcome in a pit of bleak nothingness.
I returned back to my hometown where I was born to get assistance as that is where my local connection is (my family want nothing to do with me so they have never been an option for help) to which I was informed by the council being a 20 something male the only things that would classify me as an ‘at risk’ or ‘vulnerable’ person was a history of offending or addiction problems, they admitted my circumstances were horrible but the only thing that slightly raised my priority was my mental and physical health problems (I am Bipolar and suffer with complex bowel + intestinal issues) but because I am classed technically as ‘ intentionally homeless’ because I wasn’t paying my rent (because I could not after everything that had happened, with half the house’s income and me and my son both going through a breakdown) that basically disqualified me from housing assistance also, regardless of the circumstances all they care about is the ‘intentionally homeless’ written on my file, not the reasons why.
So since then I have looked for light part time work but I am limited in what I can do but I am turned away at every moment anyway, I hide that I am homeless from them but someone in the company always brings it up and suddenly there are no hours, or my hiring was a mistake and I am let go. Benefits without a fixed address is almost impossible ( I do have a social worker working on that with me but it is going to take a VERY long time and a LOT of hoops)
So my life has basically consisted of waking up amazed I am still here, sitting in my usual spot and wishing people good morning/good day while receiving mostly abuse, aggression until either I can not take it anymore for the day or it draws late to which I try and find somewhere dry and relatively safe to read and get a few hours of sleep. Thankfully though with already the help you amazing people have provided I haven’t spent a night on the streets in over a week, and I must say it has been the best time I have had in almost two years.
I can never repay the amazing kindness and warmth you have already shown me but one day I will find a way to fully show my gratitude and love.
Again, thank you all so much, I will keep you updated as I get along with this long and tough road on becoming ‘human’ again and rejoining society.
I love you all, and I couldn’t say it with any more honesty.