I was surprised to see Marcus.
I thought I had got him into the system when I referred him to the 'Street Rescue' people who co-ordinate direct access into all hostels whether SA or not across London. You can't get direct access unless you have their referral - which can be frustrating, but isn't a bad system as it tends to flush out those who are genuine street homeless from those who have had an argument with their partners. The system just could do with some flexibility in emergencies.
"Marcus, mate what have you done to your face..." I have a vivid foreboding reminder of Tommy, it all seems familiar. Not boiling fat this time, but tomato soup.
Marcus explains how he cooks on an open fire in the park. He explains how he opened a tin of soup that was too hot and how it exploded like a shot gun into his face. His face is a cocktail of ill formed scabs, cuts and blisters where he has been scorched with soup.
One eye barely open he says"....it's getting cold out there...."
While he waits with a cup of tea I ring 'Street Rescue' and they explain how they'd been in the area but hadn't been able to locate Marcus but they will keep trying. I explain to Marcus. He shrugs his shoulders. "Geezer, to be honest with you nobody really wants me, there is no room and nowhere to go...."
You know there was a bit of Christmas in that comment which stopped me and made me think.
PS- It seems that contact has been made, Marcus came back to say thank you - a first in 8 years!