Natalie Cox, 26, who is pregnant and sleeping rough, says she has performed sex acts on men in Swansea to raise enough cash to afford a place to sleep for the night
A woman who’s pregnant and homeless says she has no choice but to perform sex acts on men during the cold months to raise money for a warm place to stay.
Natalie Cox, 26, is in the early stages of her pregnancy while living on the streets of Swansea.
The expectant mum says being pregnant is making her already tough life even more difficult.
Speaking to Wales Online, she said: “I am trying to survive on the streets – it’s complete madness.
“It’s bad, it’s really bad. I’m just constantly drinking. I should not be in this space.
“I split up from my boyfriend and I’m two months gone – the doctor confirmed it.
“I have always relied on my other half for everything and I need somewhere to live.”
The mum-to-be, originally from nearby Gorseinon, moved to Swansea when she was just 14 and is estranged from her family.
The 26-year-old says sleeping rough during 2020 was the hardest time she’s ever spent on the street.
During the year of Covid lockdowns a man tried to throw her off a bridge and she raised money for somewhere to stay by selling sex.
“A man tried to throw me off the SA1 bridge last year at 2am,” she said.
“It’s f****** horrible, I’ve had to sofa surf. I’ve had to perform sex acts on men to get my head down on a pillow. I was desperate to get anything.”
“It’s hard. I know I’m pregnant but I’m drinking more. The winter is going to be horrible. I am worried about the cold and keeping myself warm.”
It’s the cold that terrifies many of Swansea’s homeless citizens as they lay down to rest for the night.
Many fear they will fall asleep and never wake up because of the plunging temperatures, which drop to as low as -2C in the winter months.
Andrew Knee, 42, from Merthyr Tydfil, says as the winds turn bitter he turns to crime to get himself locked up in a warm prison cell.
The crisis that lead him to sleeping rough was splitting with his wife and the mother of his child over a year ago.
He has now been on the streets for 16 months, his longest stint yet.
“My world smashed when that happened,” he said. “I have been on and off on the streets for years but this has been the longest.
“It’s hard, your creature comforts are gone – like waking up and making a cuppa. It’s everything. When you have nowhere to live, it ain’t nice at all, everything I took for granted has gone.”
Andrew added: “Last winter it was below freezing and you are too cold to move. Every day I worry about not waking up the next day. It’s not nice, you are not even sleeping through the night, it’s so cold.
“I will try to go to jail, I have been in and out of jail my whole life. Some just go in after doing a shoplift but with my record, it’s impossible. I will have to do something to go to jail to get a bit of warmth.”
He said only the fittest survived while rough sleeping in the city.
“You have to be a tough f***** on these streets,” Andrew said.
“I have been sleeping and booted out of my sleep, especially with people coming out of the pub. You end up with people pissing on you. I go begging to put something in my belly, Covid made it hard financially as it had all gone. You just see what the next day brings.”
Swansea Council has been offering places to stay for the homeless, which has resulted in a drop in rough sleepers in the city.
However, some people make the streets their home for a number of different reasons.
Kane Williams, 38, of Caerau in the Llynfi Valley, who is on a cocktail of psychiatric medicines to keep his mental health in control, has also suffered drink and drug problems throughout his life.
He was shaking as he spoke to Wales Online after losing his brother a few days before.
“My mate put me up last night, if I was out I would have been dead, it was so cold,” said Kane.
“I have been on the streets for a year and a bit and was in a wet house before that as I had problems with drink and drugs.
“It’s terrible on the streets, I just walk around at night. You can’t sleep in the cold. I went to Port Talbot and then onto Neath – the flat I had was full of mould. People said to come over here, I have mates on the streets.
“I have health problems and have to take nine different tablets every day. When you are homeless it’s hard work.”