I mean, when you’re walking through Leicester Square many things come to mind, extravagant theaters? Yes. Lavish penthouses? Certainly. Expensive restaurants? Maybe. But for me, 28 year old Steve, an aspiring entrepreneur my view of Leicester Square is, damp and cold back roads. in which I’ve has been living in for the past 4 months. Go back 4 months and I was just appointed manager of a big Retail company in Oxford Circus. But after I had to stop working due to an injury I sustained in a car crash, my life has been nothing but, misery, agony and sadness. Everything gone within a click of a finger. The ability to use my left leg, my job, my money, my house and finally my pride and dignity.
The way they look at me when they walk past me , it’s a real confidence killer. They probably think I’m a drug addict, or even an alcoholic. But I’m just an aspiring entrepreneur trying to get his life back on track, but people don’t think about what people are going through, they instantly base their opinion is always based on what they see. That’s one of the things that put me off about London, including the poor attitude of business men and women making their way to work during the rush hour, and the way the Government handles the benefit system, and how people who are apart of that system are treated.
Aged 28, I’m an orphan. Both my parents were the only child, that means no cousins, no aunties and no uncles. So when I lost my job and couldn’t find another one I knew I was going to have a tough time. By the time I was 19 both my parents had died, meaning for the past 11 years I became accustomed to fending for myself and not having to really rely on anyone for basic necessities to be able to live the life I want to live.
I’m pretty sure everyone is wondering how my life could turn upside in a matter of months. The crash was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever been through. Till this day I still feel the pain in my side from the whiplash and the pain from the whole cab collapsing on my left leg. And till this day I cry myself to sleep in the one dry place I can find. Behind the bins of a Lavish Italian restaurant, in which I’ve developed a bit of a friendship with a member of staff there, Antony. Who would bring me something to eat whenever he could, obviously behind the back of his manager and other colleagues who would most definitely be against him doing that. I have a lot of respect for him as, he’s the only person in that restaurant who bothered to speak to me and actually ask me how I got into the situation I am currently in, whereas the others would do what most people do. Push up their face when they get close to me, as if they think they are better than me. Pathetic, that’s what I think people like that are.
At first when I lost my job it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, as I’m not a person who spends money. I had just about enough money in my bank to pay my rent for the next month. But when I lost my job I knew the search for a new one wouldn’t be as easy. The last thing I wanted to do was to claim Job Seeker’s Allowance, that would have been the one and only thing I wouldn’t force myself into doing. I came from a tough neighborhood growing up, but my parents a lot better off than the kids around me and those who went to my school. Christian, one of my closest friends when I was growing up, his mum, a single parent of three and living on benefits. I obviously won’t be able to tell you how she felt, but I can easily tell you how I think she felt just by what I saw. Tired of life, distressed and probably even suicidal. But she was a strong woman, she wouldn’t let any one of her kids see how she was feeling on the inside and always assure them that everything was alright, but I could see through the whole act. I had respect for her in all honesty, little moments where I would be at her house and the electricity would cut, or she didn’t have any money to give Christian when we would go out, I could see it pained her. She would even starve herself just to make sure her children would get enough to eat.
Fast forward 9 months. 19 January 2017, and I’m still homeless. Still being scrutinized by the public. Still receiving the right amount of food from Antony to last me the night. Still blaming everyone but myself for my downfall. Still crying myself to sleep and praying for better days. I mean, that’s really all I can do.