Samantha Gawthorpe, 42, from Hull, has been homeless on and off for around six years, after being forced out of her last home when her son turned to drugs

Ms Gawthorpe was waiting with other homeless people in Waltham Street outside Jubilee Central church this morning
Ms Gawthorpe was waiting with other homeless people in Hull

A homeless mum-of-two has told of how she has been spending her days in the run-up to Christmas in a tent, in an attempt to keep warm.

Samantha Gawthorpe, 42, has been homeless on and off for around six years after being forced out of her last home when her son turned to drugs.

She said rules at her partner’s hostel requiring those staying there to leave at 8am until 8pm left them on the streets for 12 hours a day.

Ms Gawthorpe spoke to Hull Live while she was waiting with other homeless people outside a church which offers hot drinks and showers in the morning.

She didn’t know where she or her partner Nick Edgar, 46, would be without them, she said.

The 42-year-old said a typical day began with a visit to the church, before finding ways to spend the time before Mr Edgar could return to his hostel.







Ms Gawthorpe has been homeless on and off for around six years after being forced out of her last home when her son turned to drugs
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Image:

hulldailymail.co.uk)

“My two sons are 26 and 17, they’re my world,” Ms Gawthorpe said. “But I haven’t got the money to buy my youngest son a Christmas present this year.

“One lives with his dad and another with his granddad, I’ve been totally depressed not being able to see them.

“My phone just broke and I’ve only just got a new one so I haven’t been able to get in touch with any of my family to wish them a happy Christmas.

“I’ve got mental health problems at the moment too, I’m bipolar and have a form of schizophrenia.

“I first became homeless after I went into hospital after an accident, I was staying with my mum at the time. But she signed her flat away while I was in because I had a very low chance of survival, she didn’t think I’d make it out.

“My accident threw me under a bus, I turned up at the flat after I left the hospital and all my stuff was gone.

Ms Gawthorpe said she managed to get a temporary home, but it was “awful”, the “kind of place where you had to wipe your feet on the way out”.

“There were maggots in there, I kept complaining about it but nothing got done to get rid of them.

“The fridge always stank, it was disgusting and we had water coming through the ceiling.

“My eldest son got into spice and when we were staying at our last home he smashed a window after smoking it so we had to leave.

“After we left the temporary home I lived in a domestic abuse shelter for a while but that was bad, one of the other women there used to bring a man around who I didn’t get along with.

“I didn’t feel safe and it was supposed to be a shelter to protect women, no men were supposed to be allowed in.”

Now, Ms Gawthorpe was staying at the Salvation Army William Booth house, which she said was “brilliant”.

“We’d be lost without places like Jubilee Central,” she added. “I don’t know where I’d be without my partner Nick either, I was on methadone for 20 years and he’s helped me get off it.”

“But Nick’s in an emergency bed so he has to be out all day. There’s nothing we can do so usually we have to walk around hungry and with no money for 12 hours.

“We’ve got a friend who has a tent, so today we’re going to pitch that up and stay in it to keep warm because there’s nothing else we can do.

“We’re all going to the Wings restaurant together tomorrow for Christmas Eve, they put on meals for the homeless.”

“I’m spending Christmas Day with my youngest son, I’ve seen my eldest less and less over the years because of the situation I’m in.

“Day to day there’s nothing for us to do, there’s nothing for us here.

“There’s supposed to be loads of jobs going but where are they? I don’t see them advertised.”

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