Jimmy: OMI- Cheerleader
For the past three years, I’ve been living on the streets on and off ‘cos me girlfriend hoyed us out.
If people had seen us walking down the road they wouldn’t have realised what I was going through, that I didn’t have a home. I didn’t tell no body. I was all by myself.
No one at work knew. I used to gan to work and try to earn money just to survive, for food and cigarettes and that.
I’d finish the day and gan and find somewhere to lie down. I used to get plastic to wrap around us or I’d make a fire if I could. But if it was raining I had nay chance. I used to have to move and gan and try and find shelter in a bus stop. Or, I used to find open garage doors if the car was open I’d sleep in there.
I was sleeping underneath trees, metro tunnels, anywhere. I was freezing cold. The metro guy come and telt us to wake up because I shouldn’t have been there. He was going to phone the police. It was raining, I had nowhere else to gan.
All that changed when I met Donna. I knew her from being a bairn. She went off it when she found out what I was doing. She says why not just come to me? She took us in. She fed us. She give us somewhere to sleep and wash my cleys and that. I do favours back though. I clean up for her. You know what I mean? I do my little bit. I don’t just take the water out of her.
She give us a job in the shop too. I fill up the shelves. I get stock, goods in goods out, check dates and things like that. Now it’s better because I can actually get a flat. I’ve got a nice pay cheque at the end of the week. Well cash!
I was cleaning Donna’s car the first time I heard Cheerleader. It come on and I played the CD over and over again everyone getting sick of it but it was a good song. It reminds us of what Donna’s done for us. It’s the words that’s in it.
She is me cheerleader. I love her to bits as a friend. That’s as far as it gaans you know. She gives us strength, loads of strength. Always has done.
Photo: Castletown, Sunderland