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Homeless Lives in a “Human Zoo” as He Describes the Phone Box

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Stephen Pope has lived in a phone box for the last four months. His parents died four years ago. After he lost his job, he had no place to live, so he decided to live in an old telephone box. He said his living condition is “horrendous” but he has “no choice”.

Pope, a 42-year-old man, refused to beg or ask for help. He has been in the 3ft-wide BT kiosk in Birmingham since last October. “I don’t want to claim handouts. I just want to work and pay my way,” Stephen Pope said. “There is next to no space, and I have to crumple my body up just to get to sleep at night,” he continued.

“Thankfully it’s a bit of protection from the wind and snow during the night time which keeps me and my stuff dry, but it’s not much of a life,” Mr. Pope added. He described the situation as a “human zoo”, since they sometimes peered in.

“I have a brother and friends who can help out, but I don’t want to be a burden on other people. I’m a proud person. I used to have a job and a home but it all just vanished,” Mr. Pope said. “At the end of the day, I got myself into this situation, so I should be the one to deal with it. I’m not going to be the sort of person that’s a burden to other people, that’s not what I’m about,” he continued.

However, he is hopeful to have his own home one day. “I don’t want to spend the rest of my life living in a phone box or on the street, I just want a second chance to make something of myself,” he said. “I would never live in a hostel, because I know that the sort of people that live there are bad influences and do drugs, which is not the environment that I want to be in.”

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