Becky is the community reporter and has recorded Debbie talking about her experiences of homelessness - BeckyC | Institute Community Reporter

Hi, Debbie. Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview and consenting for your video to be on as well. Um, if I so if I could ask you what are your experiences of being homeless, Please. Right

Um Well, I was made homeless in, um, a friend of mine was going through a really bad depression, so I basically moved into her flat. Help her look after the kids, you know, because they were really young at the time and lost my flat through that. She found herself a nice little toy boy half her age and decided to throw me out

So there I was on the streets, Um, scared, stupid. You know, um, I couldn't think of anything to do anywhere. I didn't know where to go

Nothing like that. So I decided to leave Portsmouth. Um went to the National Express bus station and said, I'd like to get on your first bus out of here, please

Um ended up in Shrewsbury, and that was an experience. The town is beautiful old Tudor houses. It's an amazingly beautiful place

And I'd certainly recommend anyone to go and visit it for the day. The people, however, are not particularly nice. They're, um but their own back size is about the polite way I can put it

Really? Um, every every October, there is one particular night in October when they do a census of people that are rough sleeping. That night, the police vans arrived. They rounded everybody up into a van, took us outside the town limits

And surprisingly, there was nobody rough sleeping in Shrewsbury that night. I fell in with, um, a decent enough crowd. I suppose that, you know, there was about eight of us six tents, half a dozen dogs to look after us on a night sleeping in, um, a clearing in the woods by a stream

Um really, really good. Until the police decided to move us along again, split us all up, and I ended up with a couple and two dogs. Um, and things were going fine for a week or so

And then I They were red one day. I'm like you two are alright. Oh, yeah, Yeah

Fine. Next day, I caught them sticking heroin in their arms. Mm

No. I'll admit I've got my problems with alcohol with weed, but that is one thing I Well, I would never, ever do I would never go into cork heroin, anything like that. So I picked up

I moved to Sunny Manchester. And to be honest, it's one of the best things I've ever done. I found a load of friends, all of whom were drinkers and weed smokers

Yes, but that was all we did. That's all I ever saw them do. Yeah

And they've become such good friends that a few times I thought about leaving Manchester because my problem with just life in general, but I couldn't do it. I mean, there's one guy in particular Becky know him well, and he has literally saved my life on several occasions for the simple fact that I thought about I thought about committing suicide. I felt like it a few times, but I knew it would be him

The family and I couldn't do it. I just could not do that to him. Um, and now I've come through the I have 18 months clean of everything

Better you become Yeah, if you become a friend because she sat there. But yeah, life is so much different. Um, I couldn't go back to the streets

Now I'm nearly 50 you know. No, you don't. I don't like it either

How long was you on the streets for? Um, altogether. I have been on the streets on and off for about three years. Wow

Sofa surfing. Another 56 years hostels, then another on top of that. So I would say approximately half my life, I've been classed as homeless

Wow. And now you feel you have that stability. Yeah, Yeah

I mean, I was saying to one of the others earlier, um, when I move on from here, I'm thinking about just moving into somewhere simple, basic, shared house, Whatever. Until I reach the 55. And then I get extra points for the housing and then find myself somewhere Really nice to settle down for my retirement

Oh, that's great. Oh, thank you so much, Debbie. I really appreciate you giving us time

Yeah, that's great. Thank you.

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