Meet the carefree homeless Derby man living in tent in city park

Meet the homeless but carefree Derby man living his life in a tent pitched in a city park.

Tobias Clark has been completely homeless for over two weeks since coming back to the UK.

The Derby-born man lived in Finland for nearly a decade but on returning to the city, he is now waiting for Derby City Council to provide a roof over his head.

Yet despite his precarious situation, when Mr Clark spoke to Derbyshire Live, he seemed happy-go-lucky and optimistic about the future.

Mr Clark said: “I came up on August 6 and I’ve been here for two weeks.

“I was in Markeaton Park for a while but I’ve recently moved because there were too many people around.

“Here I’m away from people and I don’t bother them.

“People have been quite friendly with me. They’ve given me food and things.”

Mr Clark, 36, originally left England nine years ago chasing love all the way to Finland.

But when things did not work out, he had no reason to stay in the Nordic country.

After trying to build a life in Italy and Germany, he decided to return to his home town and country.

However, on arrival, he was told he could not be put into temporary accommodation until he had spent several weeks here.

Mr Clark is unemployed and says he is keen to connect with the mental health support team in Derby.

He said: “I went to Heathrow Travel Care who help out people who are travelling but don’t really know what they’re doing.

“When I got in and talked to them they said I have connections to Derby so they bought me a ticket here.

“It was very good, really.”

When he arrived, the council told him that he had to be in the country for one-to-three months in order to be eligible for housing, even though he grew up here.

Mr Clark said “I think it’s to try and stop people moving around and getting housing by abusing the system, but I’m the opposite of that.

“I just want to live here again.

“I went to Safe Space in Normanton Road who help people out. They have been great.”

Safe Space also provided him with the tent he is living in.

He said: “The staff there were really nice. Really helpful. Not like some of the other places I’ve been to.

“In Italy and Germany, they’re a bit more hard line about this.”

Despite being homeless, Mr Clark had no complaints about how he was being treated.

He said: “I’m alright really. The lock on my tent is broken so it gets a bit wet sometimes but other than that, no complaints.

“I’ve been getting food from the Padley Centre and a man who lives nearby has been giving me food. He is really nice.

“My mum sent me £50 which is nice but they live in Australia.”

The Padley Centre also gave him clothes and he found the trousers he was wearing lying around.

“I don’t need so many clothes anyway, I have lived like this since January,” Mr Clark said, referring to his time in Italy and Germany.

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The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Goverment said that it is a matter for the local council to make individual assessments and decide who they are able to support.

Derbyshire Live has contacted Derby City Council for comment.


Courtesy of Derbyshire Live – Derby News