He said the village is a ‘forgotten area’
A heartbreaking photograph of a homeless couple has sparked a mixed reaction from Essex residents.
The picture shows two people asleep on a dirty mattress in the middle of a residential road in South Ockendon.
In the image, the unnamed pair can be seen lying on the stained mattress, dressed in large coats and with one of their arms around the other person’s back.
A car can be seen just metres away.
The local who took the image, who wishes to remain anonymous, says he feels “sorry” for the couple, who “deserve to be somewhere dry and warm”.
Speaking to Essex Live , the resident described his shock as he came across the pair sleeping in “such a vulnerable place” while heading to his garage.
He recalled: “On Sunday, my partner went to the Co-op on South Road and came back to say that someone had fly-tipped a mattress.
“I went to my garage there and couldn’t believe what I saw. I was gobsmacked. They are in such a vulnerable place.
“I went over and woke the man up and said, ‘Mate, you’re sleeping in a road. Get yourself somewhere safe’.
“He said ‘Yeah, OK’ and went back to sleep. I feel sorry for them, they are in a bad place. He was so withdrawn.”
The witness said the pair were in their late 20s and looked as though they were ‘on drugs’ – a problem he claims his area is all too familiar with.
“I’ve lived here 16 years and it’s got worse,” he alleged.
“We are right on the edge of the village and you get a lot of drug deals going on.
“It’s a forgotten area.
“Our local Co-op was held up on Friday night, and I’ve been threatened with a knife before.”
The image of the homeless couple was circulated on social media, where it has received a barrage of comments.
While some have offered their sympathies to the pair, others have expressed anger.
The resident said: “I’m split on it. I don’t want it outside my house, no one does.
“They are still human beings and deserve to be somewhere dry and warm. If I thought I could trust them I would unlock my shed and they could stay in there.
“It’s not nice to see people on the street but you don’t want it outside your front door.
“All it takes is for someone who’s had too much to drink down the working man’s club to get in their car and make a wrong move and they could have been seriously hurt.”
Essex Police have appealed for information following a robbery at the Co-op store in South Road at around 9.40pm on Friday, March 23.
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Source : https://www.essexlive.news/news/heartbreaking-photo-homeless-couple-leaves-1386725
Source : https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/freezing-forgotten-homeless-couple-sleep-12256687