“Being out there… it’s not nice,” says Josh, 18*, as he queues for a bed in a homeless shelter in Blackpool.
“You have to guard everything when you’re sleeping. You hide your shoes in your sleeping bag, sleep on your bag, hide your phone down your pants. Druggies have tried countless times to nick my stuff. You have to tell them to get out of your face – if you don’t, they’ll just take it. They’ll walk over you.”
Josh, who once trained to be a mechanic, moved to Blackpool with his mum, brothers and sisters in 2016, when he was 16, but became homeless after his mum told him there wasn’t “enough room” for him at home. The next day, Josh went to a shelter, but his situation didn’t seem real until a few days later, when he realised he was actually on the street.