Pete & Dexter

“Christmas brings out the best and the worst in people. People can be very happy and generous, but they can also be very nasty and aggressive. Often they see other people being generous and that makes them switch. They’re usually drunk and then they started abusing you, calling you a crack head, a scammer, go back to your house and get in your Ferrari. I’d never had to defend myself until recently but I had four fights in one week just with drunk members of the public.

There are definitely more nice people than nasty though. People bring wrapped presents and take the time to talk to you more at this time of year. When people get to know you they become much more compassionate. Maybe for every ten nice people you only get one nasty one. You just remember the nasty ones more sometimes which is sad.

I was working as a scuba diving instructor in the Dominican Republic for six years before this. My family moved out there to manage a pub and I trained as a dive master with a hotel on the beach. It was a great life but the money was barely livable. Then I broke up with the mother of my daughter and got in trouble with the law and had to come home.

When I came back I worked as a chef but then I lost that job, and ended up on the street. I’d like to get a flat or some kind of accommodation but I heard recently I’m No.50 on the housing list out of thousands. I can’t go into a hostel though because none of them take dogs. I’ve only had Dexter about a year but he saved my life. I got involved with drugs when I became homeless and Dexter helped me change that. He’s a lot of responsibility and that keeps me grounded.

There’s a church that serves dinner on the Christmas day, but apart from that I’ll just stay in my tent with my girlfriend.”

Pete & Dexter, London

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