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Stories from the streets: John's account

John spends his days reading books donated to him by kind-hearted members of the public.

John is one of a growing number of rough sleepers in Cardiff.

He agreed to share his story with ITV Cymru Wales as part of our week-long special coverage on homelessness.

Originally from Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan, John has been on the streets for just over a year. He says he never imagined he would find himself without a home.

I used to see the homeless people and think, you know, 'I hope I don't end up in that situation'. Or I'd think I wouldn't end up in that situation.

But to be honest, it doesn't take an awful lot to fall into a situation like this. If you haven't got family to fall back on, you're only a paycheck away from losing your home.

– John

An avid bookworm, John passes the time by reading books donated by kind-hearted members of the public.

He also relies on coins from passers-by simply to be able to eat, but sometimes struggles to scrape together enough money to feed himself.

John told our journalists he is often verbally abused on the streets.

Shockingly, he also spoke of the abuse he faces from complete strangers, some of whom call him names and shout at him: "Get a life; get a job."

I don't like to ask for money. I mean, I've got my hat out and you know, if people put a donation in, they put a donation in. But I've learned that if I don't ask, I don't get abuse.

– John

John is keen to dispel the stereotype that homeless people are "all junkies and alchies".

He is currently waiting for a place in a hostel, but dreams of having a permanent home and a job one day.

John says he dreams of a brighter future, with a job and a place to call his own.

Until then, the streets are where he spends his days and nights, and his bed is a cold concrete floor.

Watch John's story in full here:

Read some of the other stories we've featured here:

See more of ITV Cymru Wales' special coverage on homelessness here.

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