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Young Homeless Couple Reveal How They’re Surviving During Storm Emma

Young Homeless Couple Reveal How They’re Surviving During Storm Emma

They've been offered accommodation in hostels but they reckon that those places can sometimes be worse than the streets

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

Most Brits this week have gone home, chucked on the heating and tucked into a hearty, warm meal to stave off the effects of Storm Emma and the Beast from the East. But that's a luxury that homeless people can only dream of as they face some of the worst conditions seen in decades.

Those who sleep rough on the UK's streets usually survive by taking residence outside a shopfront that might offer some mild protection from the elements.

But as we've all seen this past week, there are very few places that haven't been absolutely battered by the wind and snow. One homeless couple have revealed the lengths they've gone to survive.

Ben and Rebecca, originally from Swansea and now living in Birmingham, have been on the streets for three years. They've resorted to living in car parks and stairwells to escape the temperatures that have plunged far below zero.

The couple has been offered accommodation at hostels in the city, however they've refused because it would mean they'd have to be separated.

While some people would say beggars can't be choosers, Ben reveals that hostels don't always offer the protection he needs.

BPM Media

"You are never sure what issues others have got, so I stay on the streets where at least I know the people who surround me," he said.

"Some have mental problems or heavily use drugs and I don't want to be around that.

"It is about survival. That's what all the other couples think and say too. They look after themselves."

They say they've been on a 'downward spiral' ever since they were kicked out of their homes at the tender ages of 16. When they moved to Birmingham, they secured a flat but due to unnamed circumstances they wound up homeless.

BPM Media

Ben says he's got two ways to help him sleep at night: "I use cardboard to line the floor at night and I'm just wearing two tracksuits.

"But it's nowhere near enough warmth. The worst part is when you wake up first thing in the morning. That is when the cold really hits you."

Despite their situation being pretty grim, the young couple isn't losing hope of a better future. They're hoping to one day have some kids and a house they can call their own.

There have been several reports of people dying on the UK's streets during this double whammy of storms, with some perishing from misadventure and others simply freezing to death.

Featured Image Credit: BPM Media

Topics: Snow, UK News, Beast From The East, Storm Emma, Interesting, Feels, UK Weather, Community, UK, Homeless