Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m 23 and I’ve been selling for about two years on and off.
What was your childhood like?
It was hard. My dad was a heroin addict and an alcoholic. My mum’s partner killed my dad when I was ten. After that I was put with my uncle, but my uncle’s friend did bad things to me. And then I got put with my older brother, but his girlfriend kept hitting me and I went to school with bruises on my arms. So in the end they put me in care. Then, in 2011, I got hit in the head with a brick and I ended up in hospital in a coma. The injury causes me a lot of problems and I find it hard to get work now.
Why do you sell the magazine?
I’m homeless. I’ve been living on the street for three years. At one time I was sitting down begging, but I don’t want to beg any more. I want to get a job and do something. Selling the magazine is good because you don’t get in trouble if you don’t turn up and I like talking to people – I’m very talkative. It’s nice when people stop to chat. And the other day some man stopped and gave me a pizza and I hadn’t eaten for two days. It was lovely and hot.
Do you like selling the magazine?
I do. It makes me smile and I am proud to sell it. I’m trying my best. But some people don’t think that you are working. And some people walk around begging with the magazine and getting money off people and that’s not right. Also I have some difficulties with the local kids. Sometimes I get scared to stand on the street to sell the magazine. Sometimes they threaten me and things like that.
It must be difficult sleeping outside.
It is. I’ve been with my partner for seven years and we sleep out together and he looks after me, but there are people out there who just go round looking to beat other people up and it doesn’t feel safe. I went to see a house a couple of days ago. It would be brilliant if we got that.
What do you like doing?
I like photography and I’d love to get a proper camera and take photographs around the city. I’m into rap music. I’m a big Bugzy Malone fan. I would have liked to have sold the magazine with him on the cover at his concert, but I didn’t have enough money to buy many magazines.
What do you hope for in the future?
I want a regular job, and to be able to look after myself and live like a normal woman. I hope it will happen one day. I don’t like living like this. I’m just tired.
Do you have a message for your customers?
I want them to know that not all homeless people are the same and I want to thank them for supporting Big Issue North.
*Miley’s name has been changed