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Imagine taking a fourteen or fifteen-year-old kid and saying – here, you are on your own with nothing. You didn’t have an education. You didn’t have resources. And there are estimates of a thousand of these boys leaving the community, ending up on the streets of St George or Salt Lake or Las Vegas and having to fend for themselves. There are only so many women to go round. Stephen Singular, author When Men Become Gods
Acceptable food rots while we are chased from bins behind restaurants, chased from sleeping on the street, chased from relieving ourselves unless we pay for food or gas, until finally we are so hungry, sleepless, smelly, constipated and beaten-down that we simply die of lack of will to live. Jane Siberry
I’ve got nowhere to live. I’ve been crashing with friends, literally sleeping in shelters. Unsavoury characters are giving me money and I’m taking it. I need it. The drug dealers, they sympathise with me. They see me as some sort of pathetic character. Mike Tyson, interview London 2004
If they lock me up at least I’ll have a place to stay. Mike Tyson
Christmas is built upon a beautiful and intentional paradox; that the birth of the homeless should be celebrated in every home. G K Chesterton, Brave New Family
There are over 14,000 homeless in Vegas. Drugs Inc s3e1: High Stakes Vegas, National Geographic 2012
60% of homeless people end up on the street because of addiction. Drugs Inc s3e2: Alaska Heroin Rush
Total annual homeless in LA County is 200,000. Drugs Inc s3e7: Hollywood High
In the United States child poverty has reached record levels with over sixteen million children now affected. One in twelve Americans are now jobless. Foodbanks and homeless shelters are facing unprecedented demand. America’s Poor Kids, BBC 2013
The homeless Kaylie fears is already a reality for one and a half million children across the US. ibid.
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone? … Bob Dylan, Like a Rolling Stone 1965
Poor naked wretches, whereso’er you are,
That bide the pelting of this pitiless night,
How shall you houseless heads and unfed sides,
Your looped and windowed raggedness, defend you
From seasons such as these? O, I have ta’en
Too little care of this. Take physic, pomp,
Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,
That thou mayst shake the superflux to them
And show the heavens more just. William Shakespeare, The History of King Lear III iv @25, Lear
Unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art. ibid. III iv 97, Lear
Thousands of people live on the sides of the road in Delhi. They have come from the Darkness too – you can tell by their thin bodies, filthy faces, by the animal-like way they live under the huge bridges and overpasses, making fires and washing and taking lice out of their hair while the cars roar past them. Aravinda Adiga, The White Tiger p120
Dim streetlights were glowing down onto the pavement on either side of the traffic; and in that orange-hued half-light, I could see multitudes of small, thin, grimy people squatting, waiting for a bus to take them somewhere, or with nowhere to go and about to unfurl a mattress and sleep right there. ibid. p138
Well I was a bit fed up you know. There didn’t seem to be much there for me. You know how these little towns are. Ken Loach, The Wednesday Play: Cathy Come Home ***** story Jeremy Sandford, BBC 1966
Didn’t even tell them I was going. ibid.
I bet you’ve brought other birds up here. ibid. Cathy to Reg
What a place: parquetry flooring, tin-openers fixed to the wall, double glazing, and the neighbours, talk about stylish! ibid. Cathy’s commentary
It came as quite a surprise when I found out. ibid.
I’ve had an accident, I’m injured, and I need some compensation. ibid. Reg to boss
I suppose we’d better find somewhere cheaper to live. ibid. Cathy to Reg
A few years back figures released by the LCC revealed that families of certain sizes at the rate of building in force would be three hundred and fifty years on the housing list before they were offered a house. ibid. commentary
I think this is the only tenement block in Islington where you can sit in the toilet with your door open and cook your breakfast at the same time. ibid.
These streets they looked rough. And there were rats. But life was quite good here. ibid. Cathy’s commentary
Birmingham: 39,000 families on the waiting list; Leeds 13,500; Liverpool 19,000; Manchester nearly 15,000. In Liverpool one family in nine is on the waiting list. ibid. commentary
It felt funny to be in a caravan. ibid.
I think we’ve had it ... I think we’ll have to give up soon. ibid. Cathy to Reg
Many social workers feel many homeless families are problem families. ibid. commentary
There’s disease in all these places. We try to keep it down. ibid. hostel nurse
I feel like I’ve failed them. ibid. Cathy’s commentary
I love to fly. It’s just you’re alone, peace and quiet, nothing around you but clear blue sky. No-one to hustle you, no-one to tell you where to go or what to do. The only bad part about flying is having to come back down to the fucking world. Streetwise 1984 ***** directed Martin Bell, produced & written Cheryl McCall; viz also Life Magazine article Streets of the Lost, Dewayne
I want to be pregnant, but not by a new tramp though. ibid.
Young, dumb and full of come. ibid. lass
We’re wise out here, man. We’re street wise ... Everybody’s scamming. ibid. Patrice
Penn Station, New York City ... When I first came down the tunnel it looked dangerous, man. Looked real dangerous. ’Cause even in daytime it was dark. And like I was scared ... It can’t be as bad as it is on top. Marc Singer, Dark Days, music DJ Singer ***** 2000
I been down here for fucking five years, going on six. ibid.
You’d be surprised at the stuff I be finding. And I be selling and getting top dollar for. ibid.
She told me, Either the drugs or me. And I kept saying Her but I kept fucking going back to the drugs. One day when I went home my clothes were all packed, man. ibid.
I sell anything. What sells the best? Nasty movies. Nasty faggot movies. ibid.
My father was a dope fiend and an alcoholic. My mother she didn’t give a fuck. She let my father beat on her and beat on me and my sisters. She wouldn’t say anything. She wouldn’t do anything. I haven’t spoken to them in ten years and I don’t care to. They don’t give a damn about me right now. They had sixteen years to love me and treat me like a son and much less treat me like a human being, and they couldn’t do it then, and they couldn’t do it now. ibid.
In response to external pressures, armed Amtrak police are ordered into the tunnel to tell the residents that they have thirty days to pack up and evacuate or face a forcible eviction. Filming was prohibited. ibid. commentary
When they woke me up they had guns and everything. ibid.
I don’t want to go to the shelter. ’Cause I don’t want to worry about someone stealing my shit ... It’s infected with drugs. ibid.
Being homeless is all types of problems – you never know what lies ahead. ibid.
It’s hard to believe this is our last day in this place. I thought this day would never come. ibid.
Dark days. Real dark. ibid.