"We've made a disused bus shelter our home but it's going to be demolished"

  • 2 months ago
A homeless woman says living in a bus shelter with her boyfriend and mum is safer than being put in temporary housing with drug addicts.

Destiny Mitchell moved into the 3m (9.8ft) by 1m (3.2ft) glass and metal shelter in Selly Oak, Birmingham, seven months ago.

The 26-year-old, who has autism, lives in the disused bus stop on Bristol Road with boyfriend Ryan, 31, and her 44-year-old mum.

Destiny says the council offered them temporary accommodation but she does not want to be separated from her mum who also has autism.

The trio have tried to give the graffiti-covered shelter home comforts with a carpet, drawers and even an old pair of Super Mario curtains where the timetables were once displayed.

They have also been given garden chairs, a bin and sleeping bags from wellwishers.

She says the three of them use sellotape and cardboard given to them by students to patch up leaks in the roof and walls of their shelter.

Destiny says they slept in a doorway of a Greggs but moved into the bus stop after being moved on by the police.

Speaking today, she said: “When we found this place it was my idea to create this living space.

“Before I lived in a bus stop, I was sleeping in a blanket on the floor, but I didn't feel safe.

“I’ve been living here for seven months. Before that we lived near Greggs before the police moved us on.

“Because we’re not students they don't have housing for us.

“There’s three of us in here, me, my partner and my mum. This is all new to me, I used to live in a tent.

“I’ve been homeless for two years off and on. At one point our tent got burnt down.

“I’m from Wolverhampton and I had a flat but bad things happened and I had to leave it and was made homeless. That’s when we came to Selly Oak.

“I saw this bus stop out of use. It was cold and starting to rain. We’ve had to sellotape the roof to stop the rain getting in.

“The students help me sellotape the windows, I’ve got a chest of drawers, a carpet.”

The family will now have to move out after Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) announced it was demolishing the bus shelter within weeks.

Destiny added: “They’ve said we’ve got a month left and they’re going to destroy it.

“I’ve been in here a long time, I don’t want them to destroy my home, we haven't got anywhere else to live.

“If the council doesn’t help us we’re going to try and move into another bus stop.

“We wanted to get a caravan. We don’t want to go into a shared house because of drug users. We don’t want that, we don't use drugs. It's not safe for us.

“They are saying they won’t house my mum and us together. My mum’s disabled.

“I want them to house us before they take the bus shelter down.

“I just want to make sure we all stay together as a family, that’s all I want.

“Nobody gives me any money. I haven’t got any clothes, I haven't got a bra on.

“No one gives me any money to buy what I need. They give me food but I need clothes too.