“The covid… I was going to say it killed us. I’m exaggerating. But I’m sure that without the lockdown I would have a job by now, I would have a place to sleep. Maybe not here in Geneva, but in Annemasse or Annecy. I think that the lockdown now is even worse than the disease. But the people who are in power they don’t have our problems and they don’t realize. Poverty, depression, it also kills. If you see that you can’t feed your family, you become depressed. And that’s also a disease. It makes you even weaker. I talked with people who told me : “If it continues like this I’ll kill myself, I will put myself on the train tracks.”
If you live on the streets it’s even worse. Your mood depends alot on the weather. Yesterday I wanted to do any stupid shit. Today it’s okay. I had a house before, I had a job, like everyone. And there are always ups and downs. But not like in this situation. It’s very high or very low. Especially lows. But when you go low, you fall very low.
I’ve seen people deteriorate over time. People who were very positive, who used to say “I’m going to find a job, I’m going to get out of this.” And now we’re more and more negative, we don’t have anymore hope for ourselves. That’s also why I didn’t really make friends, why we’re each doing our own thing. Because it’s difficult to discuss amongst ourselves, it’s always to complain, and we only talk about this.
And when you’re on the streets, with the cold and all, what’s difficult is that you have to to try to feel as few things as possible. You have to try not to feel any emotion. It’s hard to explain. I had a friend who was with us at the Vernets barrack during winter. He called us the walking dead. Because during winter we also have to leave at 8 in the morning and we can only come back at 8 at night. And usually there are churches or libraries or the Caré where we can stay warm. Put with the lockdown it was closed. So we were walking like that in the streets throughout the day. There was almost only us on the streets. We were like the walking dead.”
(Parc des Bastions | translated from French)