Reuel is sleeping rough in Central London. Reuel is from Bulgaria and relocated to the United Kingdom because he felt it would be safer. It was hard to communicate with Reuel, but from what I gather, Reuel believed that Western Europe would be more LGBT friendly than his home county.
A report from last year revealed that around ten percent of London’s homeless are from Bulgaria or Romania. Immigration from Eastern European countries is a huge issue in the United Kingdom, and it’s very similar to the immigration challenges we face with Central America.
My last visit to the UK I met two American’s sleeping rough in London [Carl and Wesley] Only one qualified for benefits and was able to receive help. Here in the States we may think that’s a horrible way to treat someone, yet I once had a couple from Guatemala with newborn twins that I could not find help for. If it wasn’t for a church being able to help, they did not qualify for any government support and the family would have been left on the streets of Los Angeles.
I met Reuel on my first night arriving in London. I give everyone I met a card with my name and contact info on it. On my last night in London, I could see Reuel smiling from a distance when he noticed me. As I got closer he said in an excited voice “I found you in Facebook”.Special thanks to St Mungo’s Broadway and Mencap.