26 September 2018

Jose shared his story as part of the Homeless Stories series.

He was working two jobs when he became homeless. He recounts how holding onto these two jobs became a challenge while sleeping rough at the Brompton Cemetery.

"My routine would be coming after 9 o’clock sitting normally, waiting until it was dark. Checking that everything was safe, and between 11 and 12 going to sleep. That is if nobody bothered me.

I used to get crumpled, legs on top, laying back with my blanket, jacket and my bag on this side for the whole night.

It’s been my house that’s kept me safe for the last two and a half years.

I remember the times I’ve passed here, people you met, people you saw then and people you don’t see now. A few of them are dead ... found dead in the street. I remember a friend of mine, once he got his shelter – the next day he got the shelter, he died. He was found dead in his bed.

I had five employees who were working with me, I had to supervise them so I couldn’t be going to a job being filthy.

If I tell you the truth, I was kicked out from my job because I was homeless.

He said he didn’t want homeless people working for him, and I said to him “I need to support myself, that’s why I’m working, I’m not out here drinking, taking drugs or whatever. I need a job to keep myself up.” And he said, “Well, I don’t want homeless people – I need to sack you,” and he sacked me.

The other job knew I was homeless but they accepted my condition. They even helped me with food and everything. Some people do care and some people don’t. There’s some misunderstanding people around who just see homeless people – they think they’re insects.

For the public, I would say to them, listen to the homeless people, listen to the people who are helping them and try to help a little bit.

They’re not homeless because they want to be – it’s life that puts them there.

I hope this is going to help other people, make people open their eyes and see what’s going on with homeless people."

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Six years ago, Jose was working two jobs but didn’t earn enough to make ends meet. In 2013, he started sleeping rough but got fired by one employer when they found out he was homeless.

Neil, a caseworker at Glass Door, gave Jose advice on housing and helped him make new job applications. Thanks to Neil's intervention, Jose is now in supported accommodation.

To give shelter and support to someone like Jose and make a long-term difference in the life of someone experiencing homelessness, sign on to the Sleep Out or consider making a donation