A late post today as it’s a bit of a walk to the library and I’m having a lazy day.
I’ve arranged a meeting with Derventio housing next week, they specialise in helping people like me so I’m pretty hopeful about it.
I finally got round to watching Game of Thrones and was a little underwhelmed. It wasn’t bad but it never really went anywhere. Still it’s only the first episode of the new season so hopefully it will pick up.
I noticed that all the trees are blossoming this morning, it’s quite beautiful. I never thought to take any pictures but I will at some point.
That’s pretty much all I have at the moment, like I said I’m having a lazy day.
As you can see last night’s accommodation was a dramatic improvement over the previous night. And I get to stay there for another two nights. I’m going to be staying in Booth House hostel until Sunday and the place is really nice. The rooms are clean, I have my own bathroom with tub and I have use of a kitchen.
Now the priority for me is to try and get something sorted before Sunday so that I don’t end up back outside. I’ve got a list of private landlords that I’m going to phone today, although I haven’t had any joy with them so far it only takes one to say yes so it’s worth a try.
I’ll try and post an update later today if I have any news, good or bad.
I’d also like to say thank you for a direct donation that I received for £20 which I can use to buy groceries for the weekend.
This picture is from the doorway of a disused public toilet that I slept in last night. It wasn’t my first choice, I was moved on from a carpark stairwell. I settled on it because, although it was uncomfortable and cold, it was safe and out of the way. The reason I say it was safe is that I had to climb through a fairly narrow gap to get to it so I was unlikely to be disturbed or noticed there.
I hate being moved on from sleeping spots, it’s humiliating and infuriating. I think the worst time was from an alcove outside a church. You would think that a church would be opening their doors to let you sleep inside, being moved on from outside one by an employee of the church just seems wrong.
Anyway a completely terrible night, but I have all day to try and make sure I don’t sleep there again.
In case anyone is new to the blog and wants to help out I would like to point out that my bank details and PayPal account are at the top of the page. Any help would be gratefully received.
Not the most exciting view of Swindon but I’m not going out into the rain for a better picture until I have to. I’m in the library, no big surprise there, and it closes pretty soon so just a quicky about my day.
I’ve had three meetings, one at the council, one at threshold and one with a salvation army housing officer. All three were incredibly helpful and nice, especially the council lady. I was surprised at this as there really does seem to be a lot of homelessness here and normally the last thing they want to see is another one turn up from elsewhere. I’ve gotten a bunch of great leads and information that I will be putting to good use from tomorrow. I don’t want to get too excited as I’ve been disappointed far to many times but I’m feeling a little more positive than this morning.
I’ll be sleeping rough again tonight and I haven’t found a good spot yet so be prepared for the return of grumpy Paul in the morning. I’ll keep everyone updated here as always and as always thank you all for your support.
I’ve had no luck with either Andover or Newbury so as soon as I finish writing this I’m heading up to Swindon. I have a meeting tomorrow morning with a housing officer there. I’m not exactly feeling too positive about it as I’m kind of getting the runaround from everyone. I was told that the council might pay for a ticket to Liverpool for me as that is where I was born but I moved away when I was three years old and have no connection to the place at all.
I spent last night in the stairwell of a carpark, the local hostel wouldn’t let me stay with that magical local connection that is so elusive to me. It was an utterly miserable night and I’m tired and grubby. I’d like to thank everyone who is still advertising the campaign while my access to WiFi is spotty, it’s so nice of you to still be thinking of me. If I get to Swindon early enough I’ll get on twitter and answer some of the tweets and dms that have come I’m over the last couple of days.
I’m still waiting to hear from a housing association in Andover but I couldn’t face staying there any longer. If they get in touch I can always go back, but I’m now in Newbury. I’ve not been here long and I’m not going to be doing much sightseeing, I’m here just to look for accommodation and if that doesn’t pan out I’m gone.
As well as a place in Andover I’m also waiting to hear from a place I applied for online in Bristol. I’ve never been there but it looks like I’ll be heading that way soon anyway. There is a bed and breakfast there that charges around £12-£15 per night so if I can’t find a flat then I can at least move in there for a time while I try to find work.
I’d like to apologise for not being able to keep in touch with everyone as much as I was in Salisbury. Rather than spend hours sitting in the library and drop in centre I’ve been out and about searching for accommodation and haven’t always had access to WiFi. I’ll be keeping everyone updated here at least once a day no matter what.
Anyone who has read this blog, or who knows anything about homeless people, will know that I spend a lot of time in libraries. They are the closest thing I have to a home. They offer comfort, entertainment and, most importantly of all, a connection to the world. Almost every post on this blog has been written in one. I started the campaign which is transforming my life in one.
When I first became homeless and had nowhere to go my first instinct was to head to the nearest library. Once there I felt safe, it felt familiar. Now whenever I get to a new town, before anything else I find out where the library is. Obviously the most important reason is for the WiFi. Once I have access to this I can find out what opportunities are available in that town. But almost as important is that I know that for the duration of my stay this will be my base. There have been times in the last year that I have left a town more quickly than I intended because the library was not up to my standards. There have also been occasions that I have stayed in a town far longer than I should have simply because the library was particularly good.
When I said that they are the closest things I have to a home I was not exaggerating. Even if there is a hostel or night shelter in a town I still consider the library to be my place.