Local residents of Birmingham showed an outpour of love and sympathy for a homeless man named Stephen Pope who had been living in telephone booth for the past four months. Pope said he was blown over by the support he received from strangers that could finally change his life for the better.
An Act of Kindness
Photos of a man living in a phone booth outside Aldi supermarket in Birmingham have touched Britain and locals are coming out of their houses to help the homeless man find a way out of his misery. 42-year-old Stephan Pope, who has been homeless for four years, doesn’t claim benefits or beg for money, but people have still found a way to help him get back up on his feet.
Every day, passers-by bring hot food, clothes, and other supplies to the booth and some even stop for a few minutes to chat with Stephen and give him helpful advice for his future. Birmingham City Council has also volunteered to help out the homeless man by contacting Birmingham’s Homeless Outreach team.
Homeless for Four Years
Stephan spent the entire winter in the tiny phone booth and used thick blankets to protect himself from the freezing cold. He admitted that the torn blankets and the filthy mattress that he slept in often reminded him of a human zoo. The 42-year-old had previously lived on the streets of Birmingham’s city center but it proved to be too dangerous for him at night when drug addicts and dangerous criminals would roam around freely, threatening anyone they saw on the streets.
After getting involved in a Black Mamba accident, Stephan decided to move his make-shift bed to a safer location, which is when he discovered an abandoned phone booth outside a supermarket and thought that it would give him some protection against the rain and cold winter winds.
Make-Shift Bedroom in a Telephone Booth
Stephan moved out on the streets of Birmingham after both of his parents died within the same year and he lost the family home that they had been living in. He also lost his job and completely ran out of money which is where things started going downhill for the unlucky 42-year-old. He moved to the phone booth last fall but didn’t accept any benefits from the government. All he has been surviving on so far is the donations that locals bring him every day.
Shocking images revealed the squalid conditions Stephan has been living in for the past many months. His phone booth has been turned into the world’s tiniest bedroom covered in cardboard boxes which provide insulation against the weather while the glass ceiling of the booth keeps Stephan’s sparse belongings safe from the rain.
Hoping to Get Back on His Own Feet
During an interview with a local news station, Pope said that sleeping in such a tiny space in the coldest months of the year was absolutely horrendous, but he wasn’t really left with any other choice. He said that he doesn’t like to beg or receive handouts from others and wishes that there was a way that he could pay his way through life just like everyone else. The booth is so small that Stephan has to curl up in a ball at night, but he hardly gets enough sleep and starts every morning with his entire body aching with cramps.
The 42-year-old says that sometimes people stop by the booth in the middle of the night to bang on the glass window or shout at him, but he remains still under the blankets and waits for them to leave so that he doesn’t come in harm’s way. However, not everyone who stops by Stephan’s make-shift bedroom has bad intent. Some of the locals actually bring him fresh food, warm drinks, clothes and money to make his life easier and even talk to him to understand his situation.
Pope says that is grateful for the kindness he has been shown, for it wasn’t for the help that he had received from the residents, he wouldn’t be able to survive for long. Right now, his biggest dream is to get back on his feet again and a find a job to pay for food, rent and other basic necessities. Birmingham’s Homeless Outreach team says that they can provide Stephen with temporary accommodation while he looks for a job.