Many homeless people feel a stigma about being on the streets which often creates a barrier between them and their families - people preferring not to reveal the extent of their difficulties. Family breakdown in many instances has led to a person being on the street. Friendships on the street for several interviewees were regarded as superficial - 'associates' rather than friends. For others,however, a sense of community amongst other homeless people provided a sense of family which they lacked.
"Well, it's the wrong kind of friends really when you're homeless because you know everyone's in the same frame of mind. Nobody's got nothing. Everyone's got a problem there and we all want the same thing. Everyone wants a couple of pounds, a hot meal, somewhere to sleep, you know. And some people will go to amazing lengths to get that. But it's not really the kind of circle that I would like to be in, I'm glad that I'm away from it now." Lee, 25
Some interviews contain strong language.
1. Family and homelessness 15.4 Michael, 31
2. Friendships made at the hostel or on the streets 16.9 Maria, 56
3. Friendships v 'associates' 14.4 Lee, 25
4. Value of family 27.5 John, 53
5. Becoming a parent 25.3 John, 44
6. Giving a child up for adoption 30.4 David, 23