The Final Episode | Girls Living On The Streets Of Brighton

Hastings. Still the same! I hate Hastings with a passion. At first I thought it was going to
be the worst thing in the world, coming from Brighton
back to Hastings. But it’s actually probably one of
the best things I could have done. I’ve got loads of support here
from my family and my mum. It’s cool. Seaview have got me a Home Works
worker. They help me with my CV. If I don’t have any money for dinner
they’ll put it, they’ll write it down and say, “OK, well, you can just owe us it
when you can.” If Seaview wasn’t then I have
no idea what I’d be up to. I’d be very hungry,
like a lost puppy walking around. I got some eggs.
They sometimes put things out. I don’t usually go for ’em. But they’ve given me
some proper eggs. I’m scared I’ll get back
and, like, one of them might hatch. My main focus now
is getting somewhere to live. Jump through every hoop they’re
going to put in front of me, and get housed. When you get
to that point where you think, “I’m doing all I can, what more
can I do, what more can I do?”, and you sit there
and think to yourself, “There’s nothing more I can do,”
and give up, don’t. Every day, pester, pester, pester. That’s what I’m doing.
And it’s working. Once I have somewhere to live,
that’ll be it sorted. My… I can get a job.
I can shower when I want. Have my own privacy.
Get back into my music. That’s all I want!
That’s all anyone wants and needs. Tomorrow I’ve got
a YMCA appointment. My second half of my assessment to see if I’m right
for shared accommodation. I’ll… I will eat anything.
Thank you. Some days you can go with nothing. And then someone like that
comes along. It’s really nice that you do that.
Cheers. Thanks. You’re completely worn out
by the time you go to sleep. It’s either that or you’re restless. And if you’re restless and
you don’t sleep for a few nights, you crash and you pass out.
So you do sleep sometimes. But it takes for you to be mentally
and physically worn down. When I’m packed up
and going to sleep, me sleeping bag’s
a Navy sleeping bag, it’s green. Eh, me hood’s green.
You can’t tell my gender. It’s just a lot safer. A lot of it is drunk people and… ..people just being gropey. And if you’re sleeping in one area
for quite a long period of time, you get known for
being out in that area. And I’ve had stalkers before. Like, for example, I’d be sleeping
here, and he’d be around the corner. I wouldn’t even notice for a while.
And he’s just staring at us. And then, when I notice,
he notices I’m looking at him, just not say anything, staring at
us, waiting for us to go to sleep. Up-up! Good boy. People will steal your shoes. It’s ridiculous. There’s a lot of people
that are still worse off. He’s been a bit scatty all day,
like. Surprisingly, he only wakes us up
when I need to be woke up. The rest of the time
he’s just trying to relax as well. If you wanted a proper quiet night you just go and sleep
in the park somewhere. But obviously, there’s
a lot more danger to that. So…stay in sight of the cameras. If you’re by yourself. If you’re
with a group of people, you’re… ..yeah, you’re all right. That actually went down a treat. Got a couple of quid so far. You always have to put a couple
of pennies in it to weigh it down. Otherwise it will just blow away. As soon as I get a little bit
of money for food, clothes, whatever I need, then I just go.
I don’t sit for more. I just, erm… Cos it’s
horrible having to sit here. It’s embarrassing for one. It hurts your back.
You get an numb bum. And it’s boring. So… Yeah, as soon as
I can get up and go, I will. Thank you. I’ve been, like, short of like 20p
before now and I’ve asked a guy, I’ve been like, “Excuse me,
could you please help me with 20p?” And he’s like, “No, I don’t
have 20p, but I have like £20 “if you want to give me, like…” They try to ask you for sexual
favours. And I’m just like, “What? No.” It’s just disgusting. It’s not fair,
cos there’s young girls out here. I’ve woken up to
someone weeing on my stuff. I’ve woken up to somebody
going through my bags. I’ve had girls, drunk girls go past
me and throw chips at me and stuff. I was a normal human being,
like, a few months ago. Walking… Well, I still am
a normal human being, like, so treat me normally, please. But, like, I was walking down
the road with everything and a job and everything else,
and I was the one that used to walk past
a homeless person. But now I’m in this situation
and people walk past, and some people give you
the dirtiest looks ever. And I think, “You just don’t know
who I am, and you don’t know “what I’ve been through
and what’s happened to me. “And the fact that this could happen
to you next week, you don’t know.” I didn’t realise,
I never even in a million years thought that this would happen
to me. And it all happened so quickly
as well. It was like bing, bang, bosh –
mum’s gone, kid’s gone, flat’s gone. Like, all gone. It was horrible. Morning! Hello, sweetie.
DOG GROWLS Oh, I know,
you’re protecting your mum. Goes down a treat in the morning when you have a cigarette
and a cuppa. I guess the system failed me,
and I failed the system. And it’s not even that I was
really rebellious. It was that…
I needed more help with things. You’d get teachers
that would say to you, “Oh, away – you’re going to become
nothing when you’re older anyway.” And… I don’t know. He was right. SHE SINGS I ended up in me first squat… It used to be a lot tighter
of a community. There’s so many people
out there on the streets and so many empty buildings. It was a tight and empowering thing
to feel, for us to be fighting for
something that we believed in. I’d never experienced anything
like it before, and I felt free. Er, and I couldn’t go back
to what I was doing. I was lying to my parents,
saying I still had my job. And, erm, I just got in
with the wrong crowd. I ended up going to a festival. I’d never really been
to a proper festival before. I was dosed up with
quite a lot of LSD. And that’s when my mental health
just dropped. Didn’t know who I was for months. And one day I just wrote on a piece
of paper a letter to my dad. And sent it to him. And they hadn’t
seen us for a very long time. I was a missing person. I never kept a phone for the whole
time I was living on the streets. Er…in case I heard bad news or… ..they’re worried. But, like,
I was very stupid to do that. Erm… Sorry, I’m proper
having a moment here. Erm… We can stop if you need to?
Yeah. No, it’s OK. Er… I’m reunited with them now,
more than I have been. I even have my family saying,
“There you are. “We can see you again.
You’re back.” And, er… Yeah, I don’t know. I try and keep contact with them now
a lot. Even… Even if I am
having a hard time at all, I’m scared to worry them. Er… I just want to keep them OK.
They don’t have to deal with it. Er… I wouldn’t put it on anyone. I’m feeling a bit nervous
about the meeting today, cos of how it went last time.
It didn’t go very well. Cos he wasn’t sure if I was right
for shared accommodation or not. Cos when I was 16
I was a shit-bag. Today is the most important day out of anything I’ve done
to try and get a house, cos it’s the line between
whether I get in a place or whether I stay homeless.
So… It’s going to be quite difficult. I just have to be like,
calm and collective, no matter what he asks me. Obviously going to be
an uncomfortable position. I’ve got to keep positive.
Keep centred. I can’t lose myself. Hi, Hayley. Hi, you all right?
Yeah. How you feeling?
Nervous, but all right. Oh, it’ll be fine. It will be fine. The YMCA’s sort of
my last option, innit? Yeah, it’s fine.
And this is just the assessment. They’re going to ask you questions
that are probably sensitive, and you’ve just got to
keep your emotions under control. I’ll be there with you.
All right. It’ll be fine. Hiya. Hi, you all right?
Hi again. All right? Yeah. We’ve got Hayley and Seaview down
as people that are supporting you. The last time, we talked
a little bit about anger management and you said that it was a bit of
an issue in the past. I deal with it very differently now
to how I used to. OK. I talk it out with them.
OK, that’s good. That’s usually the way
most people were doing it. Yeah, yeah. Absolutely, yeah. What about your mental health –
how are you feeling at the moment? Overall at the moment
I’m doing all right. Yeah? I’ve got enough support
with Home Works and Seaview. Sounds like you’ve had
a rough few years. Yeah. It’s not the worst life,
that’s what I keep telling myself. It’s all right. Like, there’s people
out there much worse than me. It’s nice to be positive
like that, though. Yeah. We’ll just go through it. We’ll have a look to see
what availability we’ve got. And also, because you’ve mentioned
about sharing with, like, one person maximum…
Yeah, that would be really cool. Yeah. I mean, how would you feel
about sharing with more people if you had to? My experiences
with that have been bad. I just don’t really want to
go in there just to fail. Yeah. But at the same time,
I have grown up. Yeah. Yeah. We will be able to let you know
by middle of end to next week. I think it went all right.
It went better than last time. Yeah. No, I think they got a sense
of what I’m actually like this time. Coming back, having to do
everything I’m doing, it’s so tiring and draining. I’m having to jump through
all those hoops. But when I was living like that –
like, don’t hold me to this – it was kind of easier in a way. I didn’t usually have to do much
other than survive. But now I’m glad
I’m getting things sorted. Life is getting on track, especially
after this YMCA appointment. I feel confident about that. They’re going to give me a place,
I think. How can they not? This is my shoe. Lovely. Things happen for a reason, I think. But…don’t know what the reason
is for this shit. But I’ll find out eventually. I remember, er, I remember seeing
him, seeing him when I was little. I remember having water fights
with him and stuff. And… Then my mum, like, moved away
and took me and my sister, and she changed our names
by deed poll. So I don’t think,
even if he tried to look for me, he might not have been able
to find me. But, er… I’m still looking for him now.
Still want to find him. Hello. You all right? My mum was a bit of an alcoholic
and since my grandad died my mum went downhill,
and my sister used to look after me. My sister used to cook dinner, and, er, she even used to wake me up
and tell me to go to school. But, er, I kind of used to be
a big pain in the bum and say, “You’re not my mum, no.” Like, so, kind of made it
a bit difficult for her. She used to worry that if we didn’t
go to school or something, we’d get taken away, and we did
in the end. So she was right. I got taken into foster care
when I was seven. We got in, like, some people carrier
car with an old couple. Er, I remember it like yesterday. And I was almost excited
in the back, like, “Oh, we’re all going on a holiday,
we’re going to have a new bedroom.” Didn’t really realise
what was going on. A few weeks later, I was like,
“I really miss Mum. “I want to go home.” And then
I weren’t allowed to go home, and then I realised.
I was like, “Oh, my God.” When I turned 16,
I got put into my first hostel. But then after that
I got my own flat. I did used to have a really nice
flat, and working and everything, really nice life. But then my mum
died and I just went downhill. I stopped going to college,
stopped working. Couldn’t really pay my rent.
Lost the flat. Lost everything. A lot of people
will put the argument across that they’re working for their money
and you’re just sitting begging. And they don’t know your history, they don’t know why you’re
in the situation you are. And it could change just like that
for them. Something as simple as an accident
and you being in hospital, you can’t pay your rent,
lose your house. It’s hard to be… this society,
if you’re pushed out. It’s hard to get back
into that lifestyle. I heard back from the YMCA and
they’ve actually said no to me. I don’t really know where to go from
here. I rung social services too. Er… And they said a council worker has said I can have
temporary accommodation in Kent, which I really don’t want to do. So I’m just going to carry on
sofa surfing for now, to be honest. Until something comes up closer,
cos I’m not moving to Kent. So, I’m pretty gutted
the YMCA said no to me. I thought they were going to say
yeah. I was really looking forward to it. Kent is not an option at all.
I’m not doing that. Cos I don’t know anybody and I’ll be
on my own, and I’ll feel lonely. I don’t want to do that. My family
is here. My support is here. The next step? I think I’m lost with that one,
to be honest. They took me away when I was six. And now I’m 18,
they’re just not helping me. Well, I’m 19. But really, since I was 18
they haven’t been helping me. I don’t know what to do again. That’s scary. Especially cos
where I’m from as well, I would hate to be homeless here. If I keep going,
I reckon it could be bright. But right now I don’t have a very
positive energy towards the future. There’s people dying on the street, outside of buildings that are empty. If I do manage to get this squat, I’m not just going to keep it
as a home either, I want to do a lot with it.
I want to be doing art exhibitions, getting artists in
to do spray-painting. Collect free stuff out of bins
that could be recycled and used. Food, even. And just have it like an
open shop where people can come in and feed themselves for free. Clothe
themselves for free. Sleep for free. I want people to talk about it. SHE SINGS # So, rock me, mama
like a wagon wheel # Rock me, mama, any way you feel # Hey, mama, rock me # Rock me, mama
like the wind and rain # Rock me, mama
like a southbound train # Mama, rock me. #

0 comments on “The Final Episode | Girls Living On The Streets Of Brighton”

  1. BBC Three says:

    Thanks for your comments and support throughout this series. We will have new documentary series coming to the channel soon. If you liked watching Love & Drugs On The Street, you may also like Sex, Drugs & Murder, which over 13 episodes took an uncompromising look at the lives of sex workers in an area of Leeds –

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