Stone Cold – Letter from Link – Exemplar

Dear Mum,

I’m in London now, have been for a couple of weeks. It’s been a real eye-opener staying here and, I have to be honest, it’s not going very well.

When I first got here I managed to find a place to stay. It was in King’s Cross and it meant I had some time to find a job. I had to pay two week’s rent in advance so I had very little money left and, after searching all over, I couldn’t get a job anywhere. It didn’t help that I was wearing the same clothes day-in, day-out.

A couple of nights ago, my landlord came to collect his rent. He was two days early but he didn’t care. He told me I had to pay or get out. I was so angry and frustrated but there was nothing I could do. He was a mean piece of work. So, I had to leave. No job, no money and nowhere to stay.
Last night I spent my first night homeless. I’d applied for benefits at the DSS but they won’t give me anything because I made myself homeless. I’m nearly in tears the situation is so frustrating. Nothing I do seems to work.

I managed to find a decent doorway to sleep in (your sleeping bag is coming in very handy) but I had to leave it to go and pee in King’s Cross station. When I was in there, the attendant tried to punch me, probably because I looked a bit dirty. It’s no fun being homeless because you can’t get properly clean, and because you can’t get clean nobody wants anything to do with you. It’s a downward spiral.

When I got back to the doorway someone else had taken my spot. He was a big Scouse bloke and I didn’t want to get into a fight so I just left him to it. As I was walking away, though, he grabbed my wrist and threatened me if I didn’t give him my watch. This is the last memento I have of you and the family, and it broke my heart to give it to him. I had no choice, though. It was either that or end up in the hospital.

The hardest thing to take when you’re homeless is that nobody cares. People avoid you in the street, they look the other way, and people who don’t look at you like you’re making the streets look untidy. Because of the money situation I’ve started begging, and that makes people treat you even worse. It’s depressing to spend a whole day asking strangers for money, feeling worthless, and only coming up with a few pence, not enough to buy any food. It’s desperate on the streets.

I really want to come home, to see you and Carole, and for things to be like they used to be, before Vince. I know you don’t want to hear this, but he’s changed you and destroyed the happiness we used to have. He’s lecherous and I often saw him leering at Carole – she wasn’t lying when she told you what he did. After that she couldn’t stay in the house.

Please think about the situation, and where I’ve ended up. If you change your mind, you’ll find me around King’s Cross. I won’t be too hard to find – just look for the invisible people.

All my love,

Link

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