After a hard day's work on a miserable winter’s night you finally make it home and collapse on your sofa. Your sofa: so welcoming, so comfortable, so safe and cosy.
Until suddenly your world is turned upside down. Imagine instead that you are now homeless, and that comfy, safe sofa has vanished. You are now at the mercy of bedding down on someone else’s sofa. Welcome to sofa surfing.
When you are sofa surfing don't expect to settle down in front of the television with your loved one for an evening of Gogglebox, as your sofa could be anywhere. It’s not always going to be in the front room of a house. It can be in a cold garage or a draughty, derelict squat, or even a damp cellar. But, you’ll be told not to complain because at least you have a roof over your head.
Don’t expect to get your head down for an early night. You no longer have a say in what time you go to sleep. You no longer have a choice in who you have to talk or listen to or even who gets to visit.
Don’t bother hoping for a lie in to catch up on some much-needed sleep. No chance. You’re in the way. There’s the door, get out and walk the streets.
You can say goodbye to any privacy or personal routine that you have been used to. Your private space is no longer your own.
Can you even afford the price of your night on the sofa? There will often be a cost that must be paid, a sense of obligation that you must pay something back. Maybe if you’re lucky you will be expected to help out by doing a few hours of house work or child care. Maybe you will be asked to deliver some small packages of drugs. Or maybe you will be told you should be a little more friendly and provide sexual favours or even be forced into sex work.
Don’t let yourself get comfortable as you can never forget that morning is just round the corner and the pressure starts all over again. Insomnia a constant battle, sapping your strength. Finally, don’t let your guard down because in reality sofa surfing is like one big never-ending nightmare.
Congratulations, you are now an expert in sofa surfing. Will you sleep on your sofa for one night, so that someone else won’t have to?
Simon's Big Sofa Surf
Raise money and spread awareness by sleeping on your sofa on 27th November.