Homeless at Christmas – family life in a B&B | homelessness | Shelter

Homeless at Christmas – family life in a B&B | homelessness | Shelter


I’m a single parent. Three children.
I was a lorry driver, and I lost my job. I thought homeless was being on the street
with your sleeping bag. It wasn’t until I contacted Shelter that I
got the idea. Because I wasn’t living in my own house, that’s
being homeless. I thought it was actually walking round the
streets with your bags, not having anywhere to live, living on people’s settees, all locked in. That’s homeless. A lot of people think Bed and Breakfast is like when you go on holiday, you go down the coast, you go to a guesthouse,
a Bed and Breakfast house. You get your breakfast cooked for you
and things like that don’t you. But, it’s not a Bed and Breakfast like that. Me and the two little ones share. I have to sleep with the five-year-old in the double bed. The little one’s got his own little cot. In the morning, the taxi gets to us and picks us up. Get their breakfast ready. Once they’ve finished their breakfast,
start getting all their clothes out, get all the bags ready
while I’m getting them dressed. “Daddy, here.” “Thank you”. “Right come here… no stop.
Feet in… no just one.” Difficulties are discipline for the children,
because if it’s like ‘send you to your bedroom’, I can’t. It’s just the rights and wrongs of
actually living in a house. And by the time I’ve managed to get it all ready,
got all the bags ready, the taxi usually just turns up in time for us
to walk straight out and get in. We’re fourteen miles away from our B&B.
I’ve got a routine to try and keep with the boys to try and keep them in as much of a routine
as I can. All they know is that they’re waiting to…
we’re waiting to get housed, we’re gonna get a house. My little one keeps saying to me that he wants to be housed near his school, so he can walk to school, or ride his bike or his scooter
to school with his friends, have sleepovers. Because we’re in the B&B, and we’re so far away they can’t go. We missed the fireworks,
the other night, because they had the fireworks display. Can’t go to that, any parties, erm,
I can’t do parents evenings, because we have to get a taxi straight back from school. “There’s a tree, a green patch, a see-saw, a car, a swing and a roundabout.” Christmas would be great if we had our own place. We could actually have a Christmas
tree, decorations. “Will Father Christmas come and deliver presents there?” “Yeah, I think he’s going to fill our room
with presents.” We could eat Christmas dinner, proper Christmas
dinner, make bread sauce and all the trimmings and it’d be great. The decorations, the boys would love,
because they help, put all the decorations up, putting the star on the tree, at the top,
or the angel, whatever one they wanted, you know. They’d love it. So would I.
It’s a family event. “My turn now” “Your turn now?” “Yeah” “Pillow fight” I try and just, you know, do everything for
the kids. Make sure they’re OK, and happy.

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About the Author: Sam Caldwell

16 Comments

  1. Why in hell is the most recent app on YouTube or Google almost a year old!? Most are several years. Where can I get updated info to help people? Are the homeless all now cared for?

  2. Hats off to this man im proud of you .no disrespect to the syrian miggrants coming over to the uk funded by the british govt in total 20.000 up until the yr 2020.but they shun their own citizenz,
    where is the justice in this they will recieve housing social security schooling medical and full support it sickens me to see this man suffering i do hope he has got a home to live in with his young family by now

  3. when you are born, You should have free air to breath, free water to drink, and free place to sleep, just like every other animal.

  4. Best father ever,….this Is like the retired lady who cruises around the world with a cess to international class emergency medical care. Beautiful. Your a man who is everything Mr. Mom. I should prefer seeing you raise your family on a reality show, rather than John n Kate plus eight, or octo-mom. But octomom is ok just not fully cured of magical thinking.

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