Tackle homelessness before Channel 4

Billy Walker, Leeds resident of fifty seven years

Billy Walker, Leeds resident, pictured on Briggate.

By Simran Kaur

Billy Walker, a retired Leeds local, claims homelessness is a big issue within the city and has never seen it as bad as it currently is throughout the fifty seven years he has lived here.

Walker, a retired 65 year old videographer, visits the city centre regularly to walk around and catch up with his old friends. Strolling down Briggate with an old school friend from the sixties, he says his favourite thing about the city is the way it is constantly changing to match up with bigger cities such as London.

“Leeds is an amazing city and I’m very proud to be from here. We have everything all the big cities like London and Birmingham have, we’ve got Trinity and now I’ve heard Channel 4 are coming here, it’s very impressive. Every time Tony and I come to town for a catch up we always see something new pop up, or a wacky street performer.

But I must admit, there is more homeless here than I’ve ever seen before. I wonder why the council aren’t doing more to get them accommodation, or giving them amenities in the accommodation. I speak to some of the homeless sometimes and they said they’ve been given flats, but they would rather not stay there because they have nothing except a mattress which is absurd. Not even heating in these cold months.

If I could change one thing about the city, I would delay the Channel 4 building and give the homeless a proper place to live which feels like home.”


About the Author

This article was produced by a student or students on the BA in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University.

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