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    Homeless Londoners Explain Why They’re Living On The Streets

    The number of new rough sleepers in London from April–July 2014 was 23% higher than the same period last year, according to St Mungo’s Broadway’s latest Street to Home report.

    by ,

    Jason How, age 40, 1 ½ years homeless.

    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed
    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed

    “I split up from my wife in May last year and I’ve got no other family. … I had nowhere else to go; it was either me and my wife, or nowhere.”

    Raj Patel, age 32, 10 months homeless.

    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed

    “I refused to be part of an arranged marriage. … Now I’ve fallen through the cracks and ended up in this tunnel.”

    Michael Cash, age 48, 10 months homeless.

    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed

    “I lost my wife in a car accident and came to the UK, to Birmingham, to bury her. I came to London but my sister’s moved out of the city and I don’t know where to start. I can go back to Ireland if I want to but I’d be in the same boat as I am here.”

    Kieron, age 29, six months homeless.

    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed
    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed

    “I left myself homeless by leaving my marriage. The council still say, ‘That’s not our problem.' I’ve got a hostel coming up next week that I got through The Passage.”

    The Passage Day Centre offers advice, learning, food, and support services to homeless people.

    Christoph Ney, age 37, one month homeless.

    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed

    “I left Switzerland for personal reasons – I wanted to go to the US, to get as far away from Europe as possible. I went to France, Germany, then I came here. I spent all my money in hotels in the first couple of months; I’ve been living on the street for one month now.”

    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed
    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed

    Martin Powell, age 26, two months homeless.

    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed
    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed

    “I gave up my job to pursue full-time activism. Someone stole my last £400 and now I’m technically homeless.”

    As well as working as an activist, Martin also writes poetry. He gave us a performance of a poem he’d written about homelessness called “The Root of All Evil”…

    Steve, age 37, nine months homeless.

    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed
    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed
    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed

    “I want to stay away from up north, where my family are. I didn’t want trouble with my kids. Social services knew about my drugs. … I don’t want my old lady to not be able to see her kids.”

    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed
    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed

    Rob, two months homeless.

    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed

    “I was getting death threats. They smashed our front windows in and threatened to kill me if they saw me on the streets. My landlord threw me out and I came down to London.”

    Charice, age 36, 2 ½ years homeless.

    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed

    “I came out because of domestic violence. I met my wonderful partner, Tyrell, on the street. The council have decided they don’t house homeless couples, but they’ve finally decided to put us in a hostel together. … I’ve got a beautiful baby girl who’s a year old.”

    Keith, age 50, four months homeless.

    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed
    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed

    “I’ve got addiction problems. I had a bit of bad news and I ended up relapsing. I was in a program and they take urine samples – mine was positive and I was asked to leave. I’ve been clean for three months now. … I lost a couple of friends a few weeks back; their organs just shut down. That scares me… The thought of dying in a sleeping bag at the side of the road and nobody knowing I’m gone.”

    Lee, age 31, four to five months homeless.

    Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed

    “My relationship with my ex-wife broke down after she cheated on me. I feel a bit stubborn and a bit independent. … I do eventually want to sort myself out and find work, but I’ve got a few issues to work through first.”

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