A homeless woman living on the streets of Hull city centre who has been left hospitalised by numerous violent attacks has pleaded with people to show her "kindness".
Sarah Priestly, 31, sleeps rough outside the House of Fraser building on Jameson Street with her friend, Andy.
But she said the pair constantly face verbal abuse and described how she has been repeatedly attacked.
She was even left needing to use a wheelchair after one assault which forced her into a prolonged stint in hospital.
“We get people calling us dirty tramps and sometimes I get assaulted," she said.
“I was punched in the face by a man the other week. My mouth was gushing with blood.
“I’ve been hospitalised because of people attacking me."
One assault left her with four slipped discs in her back and needing a wheelchair.
“Even then, I was robbed while I was asleep. Someone took my wheelchair. It’s horrible,” she said.
She wants people to understand that she does not want to be in this situation and hopes people can understand how difficult it is.
“We don’t get benefits or anything like that so how the hell can we survive? All we can do is this.
“People should just be kind to us.
“People need to open their eyes and see that homeless people have rights too because it is so hard for people to be on the street.
"They don’t realise how hard it is to survive.
“It’s really horrible for us when people are nasty.”
Ended up on the streets after tragedy
Born in London, Sarah is a fully qualified chef having worked at the Hilton Hotel in Shepherds Bush before moving to Hull nine years ago.
“I just got a map out and put my finger on Hull. And that’s how I’ve ended up here,” she said.
For a while she worked at Lena’s Deli on Vernon Street across the road from the BBC building but things took a turn for the worse after she says she was forced on to the streets.
She had been living in a property with a man she says she classed as her “dad”.
She said: “He was an alcoholic. I moved in with him to help him get off the alcohol and he did.
“One day he went out, five days later he’d still not come home and we got a knock on the door from the police saying we’d need to leave the property because the occupant had died.
“He’d got in with a bad group and they ended up injecting him - he never did that stuff so it killed him.
“When he died his body was found with needles sticking out of it.”
Sarah had nowhere to go but was told she had to leave the property immediately.
“They turned round and said I wasn’t on the tenancy so I had to just get out.
“They wouldn’t let me get any of my things I had to just leave straight away.
“I was told I wouldn’t be housed because I’m not from Hull and don’t have any blood connection," she said.
For a while Sarah slept in the doorway of a bank on the other side of town but said security kept moving them on in the early hours of the morning and so they moved to the new spot on Jameson Street.
Sarah explained that there is help on offer from homeless charity Emmaus but knows any chance of being housed is unlikely as she was not born in the city.
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