Thames Reach
Monday 20 November 2017
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Homeless at Christmas

This is a transcript of a piece of audio in which people who are homeless now, or have been in the past, talk about their feelings at Christmas, and how they cope with the festive season.


Q: What’s your experience of being homeless at Christmas?

A: Old and miserable.

Q: Old and miserable. What did you think of it at the time?

A: Oh, you’re right depressed.

A: Well, basically I didn’t really notice Christmas a lot. The streets got a bit emptier but there wasn’t a lot to notice. I remember one Christmas, I woke up and I spent about two hours trying to figure out why the off licence wasn’t open yet because it was normally open at that time. And then eventually I discovered that it was shut because it was Christmas Day.

A: Being homeless is pretty grim but being homeless at Christmas – it’s the one day of the year when you want to belong to some group, whether it’s family, friends or what. You want to belong. There’s nothing worse than being alone, all on Christmas day.

A: It brought up a lot of bad memories so I got as drunk as quick as possible and for as long as I could. I don’t really remember much of my Christmases.

A: Christmas living on the streets is probably the worst time of year to be homeless. It’s quiet; no one around. It’s cold, sometimes wet and dreary, so it’s not a very good time of year for me.