Homeless Diary – Day 6 + 7

Day 6

I woke up Saturday intending to visit Lifeshare for breakfast but it was absolutely pouring with rain so I decided not to risk it. Today was the longest day maybe of my life. It was raining all day and I had to stay sheltered most of the day. I had nothing to do and nowhere to go and all I wanted to do was shut myself away….. Preferably at home. I was hungry and I was cold and I was still really ill. I was beginning to understand exactly why most of the guys on the street did so much drink and drugs because it’s so bleak there is absolutely nothing nice about being homeless, if I was homeless myself I would probably turn to something to help pass the time I thought to myself. Also most of these guys have probably had such traumatic experiences that have lead to them being on the street I really got the impression that they were also drinking to forget. With it being Saturday night I didn’t want to be around town when all the clubbers were around so I went back to my spot quite early and fell asleep.

Day 7:

When I woke up on Sunday it was raining really badly again and there wasn’t a chance I was going to risk getting wet after the agony it caused me last time so I had to go without breakfast again. I was so hungry but there was nothing I could do about it so I waited for the rain to stop and headed in to town. I was sat in Exchange Square watching the big screen when I looked across and seen a pair of familiar feet sticking out of a doorway. I walked across and saw Brian sat in the corner looking slightly worse for wear. ‘You o.k. Bri?’ I asked. ‘No I’m not Mark’ he said, ‘I can’t move my legs, I can’t walk and I’m in a lot of pain’ He told me had been there all night, poor guy. It had been raining all night, the wind had been quite strong and he had been totally exposed to the elements. He was soaking wet and I suspected his legs had ceased up due to the cold. He showed me his legs and they were in a really poor condition. ‘How did they get in that condition Brian?’ I asked. What he told me really did make me feel sick. ‘I was asleep in a doorway a few years back and I felt someone pouring something on me, it was petrol. They set me on fire!’ I couldn’t believe it. I had heard stories of guys being kicked and urinated which was bad enough but to set someone on fire was appalling. ‘Should I call you an ambulance?’ I said. He just nodded so I called one out. Fortunately they came quite quickly so I went to hospital with him. After he had a quick assessment by the doctor we were sent to the waiting room where Brian fell asleep and he seemed content with the fact he had somewhere warm, dry and safe to get some sleep after waiting 4-5 hours I woke him and told him I was leaving. He just grunted and fell back asleep. So I made my way back from Manchester Royal Infirmary in to town and went to church where I was able to get a bit of food and a hot drink which at that point was very much welcomed because I was so exhausted and weak as I hadn’t ate all weekend and really felt like I was on the verge of collapsing. After church I made my way back to my apartment balcony relieved it was my last night I would be spending there. When I woke the next morning I hung around town until the Booth Centre opened and went and got a coffee where I bumped into Brian! He told me he was o.k. and that they had discharged him later on that night. Relieved that he was well I decided to make my way back to Mustard Tree to get my keys and call time on my epic week.