Oasis Community Housing’s Chris Moad has written a poem to mark World Poetry Day. The inspiration for the work comes from Chris’s everyday surroundings whilst working at the charity’s Gateshead homelessness drop-in.

A story from observations

The poet Chris Moad said: “It is based on the life of a person, who once had his own business, his life spiralled out of control and then he ended up out sleeping rough and homeless on the streets. He then finds out about a drop-in centre to help him find a home and help him back on the road to recovery.”

Chris also described his own process of poetry writing: “I just write poetry based on my surroundings, from what I observe. My writing is not about a specific person but influenced by the people we work with. It’s based on how a homeless person would feel, the feelings they feel and the way they’re often looked down upon.”

The poem that marks World Poetry Day unfortunately mirrors many of the stories of people that staff at Oasis Community Housing drop-ins support daily.

‘Rough Sleepers’ by Chris Moad

My everyday life as a human being sleeping rough

Is never easy. I’d say it’s bloody tough

Nowhere to live, no place to go

Ah man, I’ve now no bloody socks and I’ve just stubbed my toe.

I’ll just park myself somewhere in the town for the night and the next day

Watching everyone else spend their pay

My home is in these two shopping bags

That’s all I’ve got, along with some thrown away food, I forgot was in there and

Now has gone to rot.

Ah hell man it’s started to rain, for homeless people like me it’s a bloody pain.

All my belongings are wet, even that old half ripped photo of my deceased

mother I always keep

When stuff like this happens, it makes me want to weep.

I try to beg to keep myself fed and any money I get I need to get a sheet from

the charity shop so I can use it as my bed.

It’s no good, no one wants to help me

Cannot even afford the price of a cup of tea.

This bloke I know though has told me about this drop in place I can go for help.

I might get some food, cup of tea and a toilet as I’m dying for a pee.

Its not that far I can walk it there, some place to help me, just a couple of

Minutes away

I’ve been told its open today

We homeless people might be rough sleepers on the street

Just going to this place though, its such a rare treat

To think a year ago I had a good job, good money, then the business collapsed

Then I met so called friends who took everything I had through giving me drugs

And stuff which made me feel quite bad.

They’ve moved on now; I’ve never saw them anymore. I want to pull myself

Together as my back through lying on a cold pavement is still sore.

I’m not giving up as there is still hope out there.

This help place I’m going to from what I’ve heard is a homeless charity, who

Want to help homeless people like me and yes, they really do support and care.