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Thoughts from the street: what is home?

In the second of our blog series written by a person experiencing homelessness, Ian who we support, gives an insight into his story and shares his political thoughts.

What is Home?

"Shrewsbury and Mansfield are my football teams. I was born in Mansfield, but I should have been born in Shrewsbury. I moved to Shrewsbury on 4th January 2019 - I was alone on my 39th birthday and I felt I wanted to come to Shrewsbury. I knew instantly it was the place for me.

I associate being in a house as negative.

In my young life I stayed in my home for years. I got expelled at 12 and went to a boarding school. I wanted to leave Mablethorpe where I moved when I was 9, my dad has MS and had to give up his job.

My mum looked after him and I had no siblings. I said I didn’t want to be there and if the authorities had listened to a 9-year-old boy, I wouldn’t be here now. "

What would you change?

"The biggest change I would like is more public awareness.

People’s reactions to begging is usually to completely ignore people - they don’t react to ‘hello’.

The public can spit at us without any fear of getting in trouble. Men shout abusive, sexual comments at homeless women, I feel that homelessness is the last place for bigotry. I can sit for an hour before anyone says hello or acknowledges me.

The council have falsely stated that we don’t live on the streets and we all have a place to go to in order to sleep.

They say that people shouldn’t give us money, whoever came up with that campaign should sleep a night on the street and be spat at and punched. When people are drunk, they might give more money but some people are angry.

Drunk people will shout at us and say we take drugs when they are falling over in the road."


"People over-complicate things, if it was simple – like a good football match – it would fit together simply. I vote Tory; under Labour I had no benefits or support.

My mum tried to get me support when I was young but they said I was agoraphobic, and as I couldn’t get to the doctors, I couldn’t get help.

I started to drink for confidence."

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