Where I Want To Be
‘Homeless.’ It’s such an easy word to say but as John Murphy from Herefordshire Shypp foyer knows, in reality it is far from easy.
Where I want to be is somewhere I can feel safe, not constantly having to watch around me. Somewhere I can just rest and not have to check my things have not gone missing.
The last 11 months for me have been a marathon. I’ve gone from being homeless to living somewhere I feel secure and have options open to me. Not just housing or bettering where I’ll be living, but education. Also physically making myself healthy and getting involved with other activities as a group, which is for now what I need for where I want to be. I’ll have to take these opportunities and not waste them so I’m prepared.
I’ve had to look at my housing situation with urgency these last 11 months. I was homeless and I don’t think people realise what being homeless entails. It’s such an easy word to say or to talk about someone else in that situation but to actually experience it for such a long length of time is completely different. You could so easily find yourself walking further down the path of self destruction instead of maintaining the focus of what you want and being real and going after it.
Quote: You realise there is nowhere and you know you must survive 'til the morning
These situations are what I've felt personally but everyone has their own story to tell. Spending 14 days walking around not actually sure of what you’re supposed to be doing, too scared to think too far ahead and realising you have nothing, feeling like everyday the council will knock you back or that the homeless office can’t remember your name. After a while it becomes tough and mentally draining. Especially when it’s pitch black at night and getting late you realise you have to put yourself under pressure. Asking to sleep on a friends’ floor, knowing they have a routine and normal way of life and you’re bringing to their door step everything that is depressing and a conversation everyone wants to avoid. Sometimes you have the relief of tip-toeing around making sure you don’t make a nuisance of yourself for the night. Or you realise there is nowhere and you know you must survive 'til the morning outside, knowing your appearance will be gash and not actually realising you haven’t eaten as you start to feel dehydrated and can see everywhere around you is shut.
'Homeless' is such an easy word to say but that is in the past now. I’ve maintained focus and for now I am where I want to be. I have my own comfortable thinking space, I feel secure, I can budget my money to buy food I can store away, having my own key and knowing I’m in control of my living space. Where I want to be in the future after my temporary accommodation, being realistic, is in a social property but I’m doing things now. I’m trying to re-educate myself into a routine. I’ve got a lot of options open to me to better myself for when I move on in the future.
I’ve been homeless and don’t want to go back there. I’m happy with my current temporary accommodation and I’m looking forward to the future and the option of longer-term accommodation.
SHYPP - Supported Housing Project for young people in Herefordshire
Shelter - Housing and Homelessness Charity
BBC One Life - Homelessness information and advice