On the Streets in Winter
Contributed by Shlomit Flint on Dec. 20, 2017
I spoke to a number of people on the streets of Whitechapel in December 2015. I remember it saddened me to see that the Somali interviewee, speaking on his loneliness, wore a Christmas sweater.
An undocumented male from India (17.12.2015):
“Once I had a bed in a room of someone local, together with a few others. In the beginning, it was fine – I was working and I hardly saw him. Then he decided to raise the price. Because I was out at work I couldn’t discuss it with people I knew, and he told me that if I didn’t pay, he’d report me. So I paid and immediately moved out... So it is now winter, from here it will only be colder and I still have no solution. There are people here who help us, give pillows and mattresses. But I need a proper duvet, not a pillow. I have to be in a place with a roof... I usually go to the medical centre in the mornings and they give me some medicines to help me with my cough. But if I'm there and getting warm, I'm losing the chance to collect money from people on the street so I can't stay there for long".
An undocumented male from Somalia (23.12.2015):
“I'm in London for a few years... Here every man for himself, and being alone is very hard... Sharing bed allows me to save more and get to know more people, some of them from Somalia... Sometimes I sleep on the stairs. It is too cold to stay overnight in the park. But people don't like it, they may call the police. Why do they do that? I'm not hurting anyone... I am black but transparent - if anything happens to me no one will notice”.