Bogdan is 18 years old and has been experiencing homelessness in London for five months. We sat for a couple hours talking.
Bogdan was born in a small town in the north of Romania, where he grew up with his mother, father and three sisters. Bodgan’s father worked physical jobs his whole life to earn a humble wage to support his family. Until last year, when he suffered from heart failure, meaning he could no longer work. As you can imagine, this changed all of their lives completely.
Bogdan was 17 at the time and working sporadically. He said that job opportunities were already scarce in his hometown and the pandemic had only made the situation worse. As his father was no longer earning money, the responsibility fell on Bogdan’s shoulders.
When I asked Bogdan what made him leave home, he told me that he was not only encouraged, but expected to do so by his parents. It wasn’t an easy decision but they were desperate. As we spoke, I became increasingly of how alone Bogdan felt in the city, and just how far away he is from his home. He’s made one friend in London, a Romanian man who is living on the street also.
When Bogdan arrived in the U.K, he got a job working in a factory for the first five weeks, which paid him about enough to cover his accommodation. When that ended he began sleeping on the street.
I could feel the weight of the world hanging over him. It’s so difficult because Bogdan kept expressing the shame he felt in having not already sent money home to his family. With his father’s health deteriorating he doesn’t want to to fail them.
We communicated through the little English he speaks and by using google translate. I’m going to go and see Bogdan again and hope to help him some more. All money raised will go directly to him. Thanks for reading and for your support.