I’m so desperate for a home I’m living in a BUS STOP with my boyfriend & mum… it’s safer than temporary accommodation

A HOMELESS couple are so desperate for a home they have been living in a bus stop.

Destiny Mitchell, 26, her partner and her mum have lived in the disused bus stop in the Selly Oak area of Birmingham for around seven months.

Destiny Mitchell has turned a bus stop into a temporary home after being left homeless


Destiny Mitchell has turned a bus stop into a temporary home after being left homelessCredit: SWNS
The 26-year-old, her partner and mum have been using the bus shelter as a temporary 'home' for around seven months


The 26-year-old, her partner and mum have been using the bus shelter as a temporary ‘home’ for around seven monthsCredit: SWNS
A charity is working with the trio to help find them 'appropriate accommodation'


A charity is working with the trio to help find them ‘appropriate accommodation’Credit: SWNS

The trio are currently living in a space that measures just 3m (9.8ft) by 1m (3.2ft) and is decked out with furniture, bedding and even makeshift curtains.

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

She 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.

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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.

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“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.

We were locked out of our home while at the shops – and now we’ve been homeless and living on the street for TWO YEARS

“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.”

They are being supported by the charity Trident Reach who said they are working with the couple to find “appropriate accommodation” but so far they had refused offers.

The stop is not in use and has been earmarked for removal.


Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) said the process to knock down the shelter was “underway”.

It is currently securing road work permits and scheduling work with contractors as well as disconnecting the power supply.

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.

“I’ve had the same pants on for over a month. I’ve been in shorts and a T-shirt, the students gave me that.

“They’re the only clothes I’ve got now. I haven’t shaved in a month. It’s cold around here.

“I’ve got two blankets, one sleeping bag and one duvet. It’s a fluffy one but it still gets really cold.

“I’m going to be sad when I have to leave the bus stop because we’ve done our best to make it home.”

England’s second city currently has more than 23,000 households waiting for a property, of those, nearly 5,000 are homeless and living in temporary accommodation.

Businesses near the bus stop say it is attracting “anti-social behaviour” as large crowds congregate there late at night.

One shopkeeper, who wanted to remain anonymous, told BirminghamLive, his livelihood was being affected.

He said: “I’ve complained to the council so many times but nothing has been done so far.

“People are scared to visit my shop at night because of the crowds.

“Every night 20 to 25 people gather here. This is bothering my business. I even phoned the police two or three times, but they don’t seem to care.

“I’m paying £6,000 in business rate for the year and £20,000 in rent. It’s a big problem for me – but what can I do?”

Another shopkeeper said the situation was “very sad” but added the anti-social behaviour was affecting both them and their customers.

They added a solution needed to be found that suited everyone.

Birmingham City Council has confirmed the bus stop was no longer in use and that it will be removed “soon” although no date had been set.

A council spokesperson said: “Homeless support services have contacted the couple and made accommodation offers.

“The offers have not yet been taken up, but the offer of support and accommodation will continue to be there should they change their mind.”

A spokesperson for Trident added: “Our teams are aware of the couple and have been trying to work with them to find appropriate accommodation.

“Unfortunately they have declined accommodation as it is currently not in the area they would prefer.

“We will always work with people to encourage them into appropriate housing but unfortunately sometimes people do decline help.

Is it legal to live in a bus stop?

Rough sleeping is a criminal offence under section 4 of the Vagrancy Act 1824 (as amended), subject to certain conditions.

There is also an offence for “being in enclosed premises for an unlawful purpose”, which is used, for example, when dealing with people suspected of burglary. 

The number of prosecutions and convictions under section 4 of the 1824 Act has declined in recent years.

In 2019, there were 183 prosecutions and 140 convictions, with only four convictions being for the specific offence of “sleeping out”.

Home Office guidance in 2017 said Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) should not be used to target people based solely on the fact that they are homeless or rough sleeping.

The guidance (last updated January 2021) emphasises “the importance of ensuring that the powers are used appropriately to provide a proportionate response to the specific behaviour that is causing harm or nuisance without impacting adversely on behaviour that is neither unlawful nor anti-social”.

The guidance makes clear that councils may receive complaints about rough sleepers, but that rough sleeping itself is not behaviour likely to have an “unreasonably detrimental effect on the community’s quality of life which justifies imposing restrictions using a PSPO.”

The Government has introduced the Criminal Justice Bill, which is currently going through Parliament which would give powers to the police to fine homeless people, move them on or threaten prison time.

“We will continue our daily checks on the couple and continue with offers of housing support and options for them.”

Trident said it works “closely” with police but added it was “unaware of any concerns regarding anti-social behaviour”.

It said: “We would always encourage anyone concerned about someone sleeping rough to report their concerns to us using Streetlink.”

A spokesperson for TfWM said: “All bus services have been consolidated at a neighbouring shelter so this one is no longer required and it has therefore been earmarked for removal.

“The process to remove the shelter is underway, including disconnecting power supply, securing road work permits and scheduling the works with contractors.


“In the meantime, we’re liaising with our partners including the police, council and local housing providers who are working to secure suitable long-term accommodation for the people involved.

“We thank the local community for their patience while the issue is resolved.”

Homelessness help

HERE is some useful information if you are homeless or know someone who is experiencing homelessness.


If you or someone you know is sleeping rough you can use the alert Streelink service to help connect them with outreach services: www.thestreetlink.org.uk/start 


You can find free food stations via:

The Pavement – for food and soup runs: www.thepavement.org.uk/services 

Homeless Link – for day centres: www.homeless.org.uk 

The Trussell Trust – for food banks: www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/ 

Food Cycle – for food services – www.foodcycle.org.uk/free-food-locations/ 


Councils have a duty to help people who are homeless or facing homelessness. Contact the Housing Options team from the council you have a local connection to and see if they can offer:

  • Emergency accommodation – a place in a shelter or a hostel
  • Longer-term accommodation including independent or social housing

Visit: www.gov.uk/find-local-council 

During times of severe cold or heat, local councils have special accommodation known as Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP). Find out more here: www.gov.uk/find-local-council

For advice, support or legal services related to housing visit www.shelter.co.uk or call 0808 800 4444.

You can also contact Crisis: www.crisis.org.uk/get-help/ 

For housing advice, call Shelter on 0808 800 4444 or visit: www.shelter.org.uk.


Day centres can help by providing internet access, free or cheap food, shower and laundry facilities, safe storage for belongings, phone charging and clothes, toiletries or sleeping bags.

They can also help with services for benefits or immigration advice; health support; finding work; educational or social activities; hostel, night shelter or outreach referrals.

Centres can be found through Homeless Link: www.homeless.org.uk/


Normally you can claim Universal Credit if you are sleeping on the streets or staying in a hostel. If you are in a hostel, you can claim Housing Benefit to help with rent. You do not need a fixed address or a bank account.  


Crisis – visit: www.crisis.org.uk or call 0300 636 1967.

Shelter – visit: www.shelter.org.uk or call 0808 800 4444. 

Centrepoint (for people aged 16-25) – visit: www.centrepoint.org.uk or call 0808 800 0661.

St Mungo’s (Bath, Bournemouth, Brighton, Bristol, Christchurch, Leicester, Oxford, Poole and Reading) – visit: www.mungos.org or call 020 3856 6000.

Depaul UK (for young people) – visit: https://www.depaul.org.uk/ or call 0207 939 1220.

Citizen’s Advice (legal advice) – visit: www.citizensadvice.org.uk or call 0345 404 0506.

The Samaritans (health and wellbeing) – www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan or call 116 123.

The council have earmarked the bus stop to be pulled down but have not yet given a date when this will happen


The council have earmarked the bus stop to be pulled down but have not yet given a date when this will happenCredit: SWNS
Local shopkeepers have expressed concern about 'anti-social behaviour' late at night


Local shopkeepers have expressed concern about ‘anti-social behaviour’ late at nightCredit: SWNS
The couple say they won't accept a place to live if it means they are split up


The couple say they won’t accept a place to live if it means they are split upCredit: SWNS

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