Sheffield city centre

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Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m 26 years old and I’m Sheffield born and bred.

‘I have my magazines, a sleeping bag and a flask for a hot drink.’

Where are you sleeping at the moment?
I’m still sleeping rough. I’ve got friends who are out on the street as well and they look out for me and I look out for them and that’s important. And I know some places to sleep where I feel safe.

What’s the worst thing about sleeping rough?
When it gets cold. That’s horrible. I can’t get anywhere to live at the moment. It’s hard. The council says I’m not a vulnerable person, so I’m on the waiting list like everyone else.

What do you carry around with you?
I’ve got an orange backpack with me. I have my magazines, a sleeping bag and a flask for a hot drink. That’s about all I have with me.

How long have you sold Big Issue North for?
I’ve been selling it for a couple of months so it’s pretty new to me, but I’m enjoying it.

Why did you start selling it?
I used to be a market trader on a fruit and veg stall. I got made redundant and that started my problems off. I lost everything and I ended up on the streets. A couple of mates of mine were selling the magazine and they recommend it. To be honest, I didn’t really understand how it worked until I started selling it, but now I know it’s a good way of earning money.

Have you got any family?
My mum and dad are around but I don’t like to put my problems on them. I just want to get myself sorted. I’ve also got two kids. I’d like to get myself sorted for them as well, so I can see them again and they can be proud of me.

Tell us about your tattoos.
I’ve got quite a lot of tattoos, including the name of my daughter, a Celtic cross, some tribal designs and the name of my football team The Blades, Sheffield United. I’ve always loved them since I was a kid. I am made up that they are at the top of the league. I’ve been to see them a few times and met some of the players.

What makes you happy?
A beautiful day like this. Being out selling the magazine – that cheers me up. I feel positive when I’m doing this. I love talking to people and doing this gives me something to do, gets me motivated. I’m not just helping myself when I’m doing this, I’m helping to support
the magazine by selling it as well.

What keeps you going?
Hope keeps me going. You have got to have hope that things will change.

Do you have a message for your customers?
I’d like to thank people for buying the magazine and I’d say to anyone come and help us out, buy the magazine and help keep it going.

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