Life is Life
Being new to this site this is my second rewrite on this article as the original disappeared,so here go's.
At the age of 15 i found myself alone in London,my choice i had run away but i never expected it to be as scary as it was.The first lesson i learnt pretty quick,do not pitch up on somebody else's site for the night,as you are really in danger especially if it's in a premier pitch for instance next to a heat extractor, you will probably get an extra beating for that mistake,and lose anything of worth that you have on you,that include's your bit of cardboard you had found as on the street as on the street good quality cardboard is akin to a commodity especially really good thick cardboard,so you lose that,lose your coat and get beaten up to boot! so then you have to walk around looking for another spot.This happened to me.
Watching People walk by.
In the night just sitting watching people walk by enjoying theirselves' is so depressing,i started to smell even though i tried my best to keep myself clean in Public House's toilet's,but obviously you cannot wash your clothes in there,all other clothes were stolen when in that first attack.I got so depressed my hair was getting matted and it wasn't long before it was obvious i was a rough sleeper.I watched TV in television salesroom windows and wandered around aimlessly with a plastic cup i firstly used for getting water to drink from places like McDonald's,and then it became a cup i used for begging which believe me makes you feel so bad and low,some people spit on me others laughed and said horrible things to me,and some people were kind,as all people sleeping rough are not junkies and drunks there are so many reasons people are sleeping on the street,and it isn't for the nightly soup run that the government so sensationally claimed!That was unreal.
I also learnt another lesson when you look vulnerable there are predators out there waiting to come and scoop you up to either abuse you theirselves or lock you in a room so you are used by untold men as a prostitute.I was begging one day when a guy offered to buy me a meal,i thought this is nice so said"thankyou",i walked along with him and was suddenly pushed into a side alley and had a gun pressed into my face and told i would be working for him and i was to meet him later and if i failed to do so he would find me and shoot me.What i couldn't work out was why would anyone even want sex with me,i looked and smelt disgusting.So i decided in case this guy kept to his word i would move to another part of London.
This was where my life changed,i found a house that was empty waited until dark and broke in,i knew this was wrong but you do what you have to do to survive,the carpets were still in place as were the curtains which i used as cover's this was the greatest night sleep i had,had in ages,i felt safe.I woke early and heard a milk float delivering,the sun was just coming up so i nipped out and stole a couple of pints of milk,then went to a shop and stole some cheese and bread i was sure the store owner saw me but he didn't say anything,i would like to point out i am not proud of any of this.I then grabbed a free paper and went back to the house,in the free paper i noticed a charity called Centerpoint,who would give you a place to sleep and generally help you out,but as usual there was a but,you had to be 16 i was only so i went along and lied about my age.
This charity allowed me to shower, wash my clothes,and eat some great food that had been donated by local restaurants that had been left over from lunch time,and very nice it was too,and the first time in ages i got a bed for the night as well as lots of helpful advice about day centers which were charities and put on activity's as well as allowing you too use the phone and allowing you to drink as much tea and coffee as you liked.Centerpoint also gave you luncheon vouchers so you could get something to eat during the day,if i could just last another two weeks until i was 16 everything would be fine.When i went to the day center's i got to learn where to go for free food,the Hare Krishna people were great and had super food and never once tried to get you to join their society.Another great place was just behind the church on Trafalgar Square,they served great food too,and i am very thankful to all these charity's.
I finally reached 16,so the drop in centre i attended to chat with people in the same place,let me use their phone to ring around for permanent accommodation,and when i got somewhere i cried,there was nothing in there but it was mine,i had survived! I looked out of my window that night and felt sorry for the kids like me that had runaway for whatever reason and having to live on the street.The next day i went to the center and asked to use their photo-copier and made some leaflet's with contact numbers,day centre's anything i could think that would help runaways.While there i was given a number to ring of a charity that precondition household items and passed them on to people who needed them,this was great.That night i went out with my leaflets and went to places runaways headed for and handed them out,i also gave a few to the soup run charity.Then i went HOME!
The very next day all my household items and more were delivered i was over the moon,thank god for all these people is all i can say,without them who know's what would have happened.I'm very grateful they helped me when i was so young.