Kris Dove, 26, Grey’s Monument, Newcastle upon Tyne

"I’m sleeping rough at the moment. I have a tent and I have some good spots to pitch for the night."

I’ve been selling the magazine in Newcastle city centre for the past couple of years now. I’ve got a good spot at Grey’s Monument. Although it’s busy with buses and metro commuters, I get some really good banter going with people – I try to make them laugh and put a smile on their faces. In the evening I’ll move to the Theatre Royal to catch the theatre crowd.

The Big Issue has helped me out when things have got tricky. I’ve sold it for spells over the past five years whenever my housing situation has been difficult. For a while I moved to Birmingham, and I also gave London a try, but I decided to move back to Newcastle. I was born and bred here.

I’ve stayed in hostels in the city but they don’t really work well for me. There are these confusing fees they ask for and forms to fill in – I’d rather keep my Big Issue earnings. Recently, I was renting a small flat with a private landlord but the council stepped in and said the place didn’t meet housing criteria – it was an old shop. I didn’t get much notice at all.

So I’m sleeping rough at the moment. I have a tent and I have some good spots to pitch for the night. I’ve actually adjusted to sleeping outdoors. The worst point is very early in the morning when it’s freezing cold – so cold it’s difficult to stay asleep.

When I was younger I worked for one of the trainers at the greyhound stadium

A full-time job is difficult to come by when you’re working hard selling the magazine and in and out of so many housing meetings.

When I was a bit younger I did work for one of the trainers at the greyhound racing stadium in the east end of Newcastle. I love greyhound racing. I first went when I was a boy, when my granddad was a bookmaker there. It was exciting to watch him working out the odds.

If I can get myself some settled accommodation I’d love to go back and watch the racing again. Or maybe even try to get back into the dog-training work. Unfortunately, it costs thousands of pounds for a racing dog, if you wanted to take it really seriously.

At the moment, I’m just focused on the possibility of getting somewhere to stay through the Depaul UK charity. So I’ll keep working hard and trying to do the right things and hopefully things will take a turn for the better.

My favourite part of the city… Newcastle Quayside. It’s a great place to take a stroll. And there’s a great atmosphere there in the summer when they create a little artificial beach by the river.

My football team… Newcastle United. When they won the Championship title it was a great day – a policeman came over to me and told me there had been a last-minute goal and Newcastle were champions.

On my pitch… I’m at Grey’s Monument, Newcastle City Centre, daily from 3pm to 9.30pm

Photos: David Charlton

Grey's Monument, Grainger Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom