By Becca Husselbee
A poem written by a homeless man captured the hearts of thousands of people online after his heart felt words described the perils of living on the streets with his wife.
Jamie and his other half have been living on the streets of Manchester for the last three years selling poems and friendship bracelets after he lost his job as a plasterer but were helped by stranger, Luke Askew, after he spent his lunch break chatting with the pair.
Luke, 23, set up a Go Fund Me page to help the husband and wife after they suffered several attacks on the street, with Jamie’s only goal being to raised £27 a day to make sure his wife could sleep in a hostel for the night.
After a recent post showing one of Jamie’s poems went viral, the Go Fund Me page has started to take off and now Luke aims to gather enough money to get the pair back on their feet.
Luke, who works as a life coach, said: “I first met Jamie last year when I decided on my lunch break that I should try and spend sometime with a homeless person.
“As soon as I saw him I felt drawn towards him and knew I had to help. He was holding a sign that said he wasn’t begging just selling his poems.
“It was pouring with rain and I asked if I could buy him a coffee, somewhere warm.
“He said that it was a very kind offer but that he would need to stay outside to keep on eye on his wife who was a few yards down the road, selling friendships bracelets she had made, as he was worried that she may be attacked.
“So I sat with him and he told me all about how they had ending up sleeping on the streets.”
Luke, who worked in a restaurant at the time, spent his two hour lunch break with Jamie and was so inspired by his story that he set up a Go Fund Me page to try and help the couple who were currently sleeping in tent.
Since there first meeting, Luke has visited Jamie a further three times to give the them a couple of hundred pounds raised through donations, to help them get food and a few nights in a hostel.
But despite this the former plasterer says that being hungry and cold is not the the worst part about sleeping rough but the fact that he can no longer keep his wife safe and provide for her.
Luke says that Jamie has found a passion for writing and after a stranger gave him some spare change she later posted one of his heartfelt poems online.
The poem which read: “Sat on the edge of society, Wonderin why am not a priority.
“Whats come of my life an come over me, my life’s in tatters can’t you see.
“Beggin at the bank everyday, get a job get a life people say.
“I get no benefits, just what people give, to buy food + drink to help me live.
“I live in the street s doorway’s my bed, people think am thick in the head.
“It’s just me, myself and I, nobody wants me do you know why.
“Don’t deserve to live with a smile, to make my life worth the while.”
The post went viral and Luke has now started the hashtag #homelessbutstillhuman in the hopes that one day Jamie will be able to publish his poems.
Luke said: “I wanted to raise some awareness and for people to realise what it is like for those living on the streets.
“When I visited them last, they had had there tent stolen. It’s terrible that they are treated that way.
“I just want to be able to raise enough money to get them a years worth of rent so they can get back on their feet because Jamie has a trade.
“Homeless people are still human.”
You can donate here: https://uk.gofundme.com/homelessbutstillhuman