A DAD drives 40 miles every day to give his drug-addict son £50 in a Ross Kemp documentary lifting the lid of Britain’s homeless crisis.
David travels to Cardiff seven-days a week to stop his son Nathan from stealing to feed his devastating habit.
In a moving scene David tells TV hard-man Ross: “Otherwise he’ll go and pinch. We don’t know what to do. He’s all I got and all he’s got is me.
“It’s really painful. It breaks my heart because I can feel what he’s going through. He’s killing himself.”
‘HE’S ALL I’VE GOT’
The family’s troubling story is one of many in Ross Kemp’s Living With… Homelessness, due to air on ITV later this month.
The episode is one of a new four-part series where Ross travels across the country to meet people living with some of the biggest issues affecting Britain today.
In other scenes Ross meets people who have been living on the streets for 20 years as they bed down on the coldest night of the year and uncovers the real scale of Britain’s rough sleeper problem.
It’s really painful. It breaks my heart because I can feel what he’s going through. He’s killing himself
There are currently 320,000 people sleeping rough in Britain, according to homeless charity Shelter.
Last year a rise of 13,000 people, or four per cent, was recorded with London having the highest rate of homelessness.
Theresa May’s government pledged to invest £1.2bn to tackle the problem.
The Office for National Statistics said life expectancy for the homeless is nearly half that for people in stable housing, with homeless men and women dying on average at the age of 44 with the highest mortality rates in London and the North West.
LIFTING THE LID
During Living With Homelessness, actor and broadcaster Ross sleeps on the streets of the Welsh capital – where the only people who chat to him want to sell the psychoactive drug, Spice.
He said: “It’s interesting how many people pass and don’t catch your eye. They look at you quickly and then look away.
“And I guess that’s what I do, just look away. Straight past.
“Why would you want to stop, why would you want to engage? The only person that did acknowledge me was a drug dealer.”
Why would you want to stop, why would you want to engage? The only person that did acknowledge me was a drug dealer
Ross also spends time in a Cardiff homeless shelter where he sees an amputee who also suffers from cerebral palsy sleeping on a mattress on the floor.
He tells the camera: “The guys are doing the best they can to look after her here, but she shouldn’t be here sleeping on a floor.
“She needs serious care – they just can’t case her, for the different needs that exist here its impossible.”
He adds: “It’s really hard to sleep here. I think possibly that even though it was very cold I probably found it easier to sleep in a tent than I will do tonight.”
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“It’s said that we’re all just a few misfortunes away from ending up on the streets. And every rough sleeper that I’ve met has been vulnerable in some way.
“Despite their good intentions, we can’t expect our night shelters and hostels to be mental health wards and rehabilitation centres.”
- Ross Kemp Living With…Homelessness is on Thursday July 25 at 7.30pm on ITV
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