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I slept rough under the A180 to see what it’s like to be homeless

Anyone who has a place to call home is extremely lucky, but for some, that isn’t the case. Homeless people or rough sleepers have to endure a lot from poor weather to the lack of an actual bed. However, until you’ve tried living in their shoes, you’ll never fully understand how hard it can be. Joined by the Grimsby Food Kitchen and a number of volunteers, myself and 11 others decided we’d sleep rough under the A180 flyover to raise awareness of what these people go through on a daily basis. I must admit, I wasn’t prepared for just how hard it would be. Read more: Barton man to host his own Christmas lights switch-on in aid of food bank Turning up with my sleeping bag and a few layers, with plenty more in the car, I met up with Cath and Ken Homewood who run the food kitchen and got up to speed with how the night was going to work . Our only form of mattress was a bit of cardboard on the floor and what we’d brought with us. getting slightly more nervous, I spoke to some of the others who had decided to join in. Some were former homeless people and others were supporters of the Food Kitchen. Sean Bell had spent quite some time on the streets of Grimsby during his struggles with addiction and constant back and forth to prison. 12 of us took up the challenge of being homeless for the night (Image: GrimsbyLive/Donna Clifford) However, having turned his life around, he wanted to go back to his old life for one night to remind himself of how far he’s come. In that same boat was Roy Sari who had also battled with addiction to get himself to where he is today. There was a whole host of others who I came to know as my friends when the sun rose the next morning. Surrounded by a group of people, it was bearable, but having to do it day in day out on my own, that would be impossible. 8pm – 9pm When I arrived, there was cardboard on the floor and a few camping chairs under the dingy flyover on King Edward Street. Stepping out of the car in just a pair of joggers and a t-shirt, I was pleasantly surprised at how mild it was. After working out who everyone was, we started asking the questions that anyone in our position would do, ‘do you think it’ll be cold?’ and ‘how many layers have you brought?’ Personally, I had another pair of trousers, two tops, a hat and a coat to go, but adding them on slowly rather than all at once was apparently the key. 9pm-10pm Another pair of trousers went on in this hour after we all noticed a sudden drop in temperature. However, one thing I wasn’t prepared for was the boredom. With no TV and wanting to save my phone to speak to my partner, a few of us decided to go for a walk around town. Again, being in a group, I felt quite safe, but it made us all realise how scared some homeless people must be on their own at night having no one else to defend them if anything went wrong. Making our way back, the wind had picked up and more layers went on as the conversation flowed. I really enjoyed standing for long periods of time discussing anything and everything with those who had decided to camp out. With no other distractions, we learnt so much about one another. Grimsby Live reporter Luke Green sleeps under the A180 in Grimsby (Image: GrimsbyLive/Donna Clifford) 10pm-11pm This is when the cold really started to set in which led to me pulling on my coat. With some music blaring, we all enjoyed a dance to get us warmed up. However, the weather worsened and temperatures dropped again, time for another layer. As it approached 11pm, a number of people had already settled down for the night as the cardboard floor filled up with sleeping bags. Feeling pretty tired myself, I called it a night and got myself wrapped up in my sleeping bag. However, one issue I did have was that I’d mistakenly packed the kids’ sleeping bag and not mine. Morale was kept high by the constant chats and the occasional cookie (Image: GrimsbyLive/Donna Clifford) 11pm-3am This was the only period in which I got a decent amount of sleep. I was genuinely out cold from midnight, but when you woke up you knew you weren’t in a nice warm bed. Thankfully, one of the volunteers sister’s turned up at midnight with a flask of hot chocolate for us all to share. She was most definitely our knight in shining armour, I absolutely loved getting a warm drink in me before trying to sleep. When I woke up, my legs had cramped, my back was aching and my face was freezing. Again, it was at times like this that I discovered a new found respect for those living on the streets, regardless of their circumstances. In trying to combat the cold, I ended up wrapping a scarf around my face and throwing my coat over the top of my chest. At this point, I was willing to try anything. 3am-7am This was the worst part of the whole thing for me. Drifting in and out of sleep with no clue when I’d wake up next, it was unpleasant to say the least. With temperatures hitting around 7 degrees Celsius, but with it feeling like two or three, it was the only time I thought about getting in my car and turning the heating on. However, I didn’t want to cheat so I ploughed on and wrapped the scarf around any of my face that was on show. Come 7am, I couldn’t really feel my toes and my body was in agony. Eventually, we all awoke from our rather sporadic night’s sleep and were treated to a full English by the staff at the Brewer’s Fayre just down the road. Looking back now, the whole thing was a great experience and lifted the lid on what it’s really like living on the streets. To donate to the Grimsby Food Kitchen’s Go Fund Me, click here . READ NEXT Man lured ‘vulnerable’ ex-girlfriend into woods before launching attack when he discovered ‘romantic’ messages Combined spike of flu and Covid-19 infections ‘remains a risk’ this winter for Grimsby and Scunthorpe hospitals Lincolnshire on path to possible Combined Authority with elected Mayor in 2025 Grimsby mum celebrates incredible seven stone weight loss journey Read More Related Articles Try your luck at our own version of the UK Citizenship Test Read More Related Articles Barton man to host his own Christmas lights switch-on in aid of food bank

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Creator :[email protected] (Luke Green)

Published on : 2022-12-03 05:00:00

Source :grimsbytetelegraph

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