Dad, 40, 'who had everything & was living dream' lost home and family in matter of weeks & now lives in bank doorway

A DAD who "had everything" was "living the dream" until he lost his home and family in a matter of weeks.

Andrew Hamilton, 40, became homeless two years ago and now lives in the doorway of a bank in Hull city centre.

He had been his gran's carer in her bungalow, but she moved out when she became ill and as Andrew was not on the tenancy agreement, he was made homeless.

At first the dad started living in a tent in a farmer's field, but as the weather got colder, he moved to the streets.

And he now realises "homelessness can happen to anyone".

"Do you know what – I was living the dream, I had everything, my son, family, my home, everything," he told Hull Live.

"In a matter of weeks it was all gone and I was homeless, living in a tent – which wasn’t too bad in summer when it was nice and warm.

“I have been homeless for two years now, it’s just part of my life. I walk a lot, these streets I have walked thousands and thousands of times."

He added: "It’s like I’m almost getting comfortable on the streets if you know what I mean, it’s weird because like I said I had everything.

"I was living the dream and you don’t even realise at the time until it’s all gone. That’s the truest saying I’ve ever heard – you don’t realise what you have until it’s gone."

Andrew has not always been on the streets and of his situation, he explained: "I was my grandma’s carer in a bungalow and she became ill and went to live at my aunty's. She had to give her bungalow up and I wasn’t on the tenancy so I was made homeless."

He added: "I didn’t really want to be homeless in the town centre but I ended up here anyway.

“I sleep in a bank doorway down the main street where there are more cameras and stuff because obviously things happen when you're asleep in a doorway."

'MY FAMILY DON'T CARE'

Andrew also said he feels completely isolated and unable to see his son.

The dad, who admits he turned to alcohol to cope with being homeless, said: “I wouldn’t say I have anyone I can rely on. I don’t trust anybody and family. My family don’t seem to care…."

He went on to add: “I wasn’t before I became homeless but I have become dependant on alcohol. If I need money for alcohol, I beg sometimes.

"People buy me food and stuff which is nice. Nine out of 10 people you ask for a bit of change will give you a couple of quid.

"You ask somebody for five pence and they will give you two quid sometimes. I only take what I need, I only ask for what I need. If I get enough for a beer, I get a beer and that’s me done for the day.

"I don’t sit there begging all day long everyday. I don’t ask people with kids and I don’t ask the elderly."

But "Money becomes irrelevant" he said.

"Money used to be the most important thing in the world but now it’s not so important to me.

"Even when someone gets me breakfast in the morning – that’s the best thing. Or a coffee. It’s nice when somebody does that."

The lockdown has thrown its own challenges at Andrew and during the first lockdown he did not have housing.

He said: "I used to ask the police on the street 'because I am homeless what am I supposed to do?'.

"I was told to go and stand outside William Booth. I said I can’t stand outside William Booth all day everyday can I?

"There’s plenty of homeless out on these streets, loads. It didn’t seem to matter really which defeats the object of lockdown if you think about it."

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