Boots, Goole

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Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 43 soon and I was born in York.

How did you first become home homeless?
I grew up in care as a kid and I just kept leaving. I was 12, 13 when I started running away. Sometimes I went back but it was no good for me. It wasn’t like I wanted to get lost. I kept walking past CCTV cameras to see if they would find me.

‘I’ve got a friend who has gone missing. I go out looking for him’

Where are you sleeping now?
I was on the streets for eight or nine years, but I’ve been in staying different places on and off for a while, and I am in a flat now. It can be tough on the streets, but I’ve had a black belt in jujitsu since I was 16 so I can look after myself. I just have to give them three warnings and then I can defend myself.

What do you do in your spare time?
I watch TV, play on my tablet and my phone. I love Cookie Jam. And I’ve got a friend who has gone missing and in my spare time I go out looking for him. I go all over the place and sleep out overnight if I have to. He’s been missing since August. He’s vulnerable and 60 years old. I’ve known him for years. When I was on the street people used to pick on him, push him around, steal his stuff. I used to stand up for him.

Tell us about your dog.
Roxy was my partner’s dog, but we split up in May. Roxy is six and is a Pomeranian. She’s got a bit of a temper on her and she looks after me. The other day I got on a train and she got off the lead and ran off before the doors shut. The train moved away and I was panicking. I had to get off at the next stop and go back. I was scared. When I got home though she was waiting outside my front door for me.

What makes you happy?
Well at the moment I am sad. I split up with my partner in May. She left me and I miss her and I still love her. I hope that we can get back together one day.

What do you like about selling Big Issue North?
I like meeting people.

Do you have a message for your customers?
Thank you very much. It’s a great pitch and the people here are brilliant.

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