Rich kid brands homeless ‘lazy’ but can’t cope sleeping rough for one night

Retired ballet dancer Callum certainly likes the finer things in life.

The 24-year-old spent 10 years training to be a professional dancer but after injury forced him to quit his passion he now feels he is owed a living.

Callum admits: "My relationship with money is to take."

Designer bags are his weakness and Callumn boasts a YSL clutch and a £4,000 Givenchy bag.

He spends his days socialising and loves nothing more than a spa treat, confessing he definitely has more facials than he needs.


The most taxing thing Callum manages to do is go for the occasional jog but he himself admits he "doesn't really do anything taxing".

But all that is about to change when he volunteers to spend three nights sleeping rough on the streets of London for 5Star documentary, Rich Kids Go Homeless.

And Callum has some very firm views about those who make the streets their home.

He said: "Homeless people are dangerous and possibly a bit lazy. In some circumstances they're where they are because of drugs or alcohol.

"When they are sitting on the ground it isn't a situation I can sympathise with.


"They could be doing more to get themselves off the streets."

Callum will be spending his time on the streets in Kensington and Chelsea.

This is the country's richest borough but has the third highest rate of homelessness in the capital.

People sleeping rough on the streets of London has risen by 165 percent since 2010 and there has been a 25 percent increase in the number of dying while on the streets.

But Callum has a plan as to how he will get off the streets without spending a single night sleeping rough.


He said: "I'm going to tke advantage of drunk people, who have been out after work and ask them for money.

"Then I'll get my hands on some flowers and shame sell them to couples."

But Callum has never experienced life on the streets – in fact he's never even been camping.

He said: "I did go to a camping birthday once and my mum had to come and pick me up."

However, life on the streets is far from what callum expected.

It's raining, freezing temperatures and worst of all, desserted.

The young rich kid manages to beg a cigarette from someone and decides to head to the more affluent area of Chelsea.

But there's literally no one there.

Callum now has no choice but to find somewhere to bed down for the night.

He's mortified that he has to hunt through bins for a piece of cardboard to make his bed with.

And, despite the sub-zero temperatures, Callum really doesn't want to get into his sleeping bag.

He explains: "I'll just feel so constricted in it."


After just four hours sleep, Callum is awake – and it's been the worst night of his life.

He said: "It's just not worth the discomfort. It's just awful sleeping on a slab on concrete.

"I'm freezing and my back hurts."

Callum's first experience of life on the streets has been so bad he wants to halt the whole experience.

But he manages to find a homeless day centre, St Cuthbert's, where he can have a warm meal and be safe inside.

Callum said: "This is a vital lifeline for the homeless.

"It's lovely and the people are lovely."

He's so close to quitting his time on the streets he calls best friend, Cecilia, who tries to give him a pep talk and persuade him to see it through.

With new determination, Callum goes to meet Gert, who has been sleeping rough on the streets of London for the last five years.

Originally from Belgium, Gert fits none of Callum's stereotypes about the homeless.

Despite having nowhere to live, Gert holds down a full-time job and has never told any of his colleagues that he's homeless.

He found himself on the streets while he was working as a care assisstant.

Gert's bosses were so impressed with his work they gave him a payrise – but this was the worst possible thing they could have done.

It meant his housing benefit was stopped and Gert could no longer afford his £1,100 a month rent.

He had no choice but to make his home on the streets and is now desperately saving for a place of his own.

Callum is stunned when he hears Gert's incredibly moving story.

He said: "You have worked so hard and got a pay rise and that should have added to your life and not taken away the most important part, which is a place to live."

And then Gert makes a heartbreaking admission.

He tells Callum: "I feel ashamed, people tell me I shouldn't be."

Gert now works from 5am to 1pm every day in a warehouse and sleeps each night outside a church.

No one at work knows he has no home.

Gert shows Callum where he makes his home each night and invites him to share his space – but the rich kid has other plans.

He abandons having spent barely one night living on the streets and heads to a relative's home for a hot shower and warm bed.

The next day Callum decides he has to go back to sleeping rough and meets Gert after his shift at work.

The pair head to the day centre Gert uses every day to have hot meals and to use the internet to find somewhere to live.

Gert explains: "I have a normal life apart from the fact I don't have a key."

Callum is so inspired by Gert's determination to improve his life he agrees to spend another night on the streets with him.

Gert teaches Callum how to survive in sub-zero temperatures, even giving him an extra sleeping bag so he can stay warmer.

He also reveals that he has known people die on the streets because it was so cold.

Callum says: "It's so demeaning that people have to just sit there and die.



"Everything I've seen has made me appreciate just how much my parent does for me."

The next morning, Callum's time on the streets is over and he and Gert say an emotional goodbye.

The pair are still in touch and it seems Callum did learn some lessons from sleeping rough.

Rather than extravagant presents for his birthday, he has asked friends and family to donate money to the day centre that Gert uses.

  • Rich Kids Go Homeless is on 5Star every Wednesday at 9pm.

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