It’s been six years since the first episode of the controversial Channel 4 series that aired on Monday, January 6, 2014.
It recorded the daily lives of people living in James Turner Street in Winson Green, an inner-city working-class area in Birmingham – warts and all.
In the bustling street, residents were seen trying to make ends meet even if meant breaking the law by shoplifting, committing benefit fraud and growing cannabis.
The nation liked to watch the ins and outs of people living in the Victorian terraced houses including Deidre Kelly (white Dee), Samora Roberts (black Dee), Smoggy (50p man), James Clarke (Fungi) and Lee Nutley.
Six years on and the street is a more peaceful place with new families who are now living in the properties which were home to those who stared in the documentary, Birmingham Live reports.
However, the street has still many issues like litter scattered across the pavements, fly-tipping and homes blighted with mice infestations.
One mom-of-two was moved to James Turner Street by Birmingham Council after she became homeless and wanted a temporary accommodation.
She said: “I said I didn’t care where I lived, I just wanted a roof over my head, until I came here.
“Every time I step out my door, there’s litter everywhere. I’ve only been here since July, I’m trying to get out.
“I was homeless and living in a Travelodge. At least it was nice and clean in there. We had a mice infestation here, but we got a cat so that’s sorted it.”
Many of the residents are facing a similar situation and said they had been moved to the street by housing associations or the council.
The dad-of-five said: “I was terrified at first, all I’d ever heard about Birmingham is it’s a s*** hole, don’t go there.
“I’ve been through so much. I’m just happy to have a roof over my head, even if it’s a s*** one.”
“But the people are nice. The other night they all come out, everyone was out watching the fireworks. It’s a nice community, it’s not like London, if you dropped on the floor, they’d walk past you, here they’d stop and help.
“Everyone says hello, you’ve got the odd couple, but it is nice. I do like people.”
He is living in the street for three years and has witnessed a number of disturbing incidents. A 12-year-old girl forced to move with her family after being sexually harassed, a delivery driver being carjacked and a family unable to wash their 10 kids for more than a year.
“I wish I’d come here [Birmingham] earlier, just not this street,” he said.
“I’ve seen a gentleman get out of his car bringing a food delivery, and as he got out, one of these lads jumped in it and drove off.”
He also said one family survived with no running water and no electricity for a year-and-a-half.
“The people, they don’t deserve to live in the s*** they’re living in. Because they are living in filth,” he said.
“There was a family up the end there, there was a lot of them. The landlord did f*** all. Not a f***** thing.
“They must have had 10 kids and they never had a wash as long as they were here. You would see and smell them walk past, it would break my heart.
“Some of these people, I can see in their face they are just depressed. Some of the people are the closest to animals I have ever seen people be.
“One 12-year-old girl, the boys would not leave her alone. In the end, the police had to get involved, they had to move them.”
He spoke about illegal dumping on his street, he said: “It seems like it’s just left, once it gets in a mess, they leave it a mess.
“You can’t leave nothing out, if I left my buggy there, went in for half an hour, I’d come back and guarantee it’s gone.”
His partner added: “They’d rob the eyes out of your f***** head.”
The 37-year-old said: “It’s so difficult, we feel like we’re ignored. We feel neglected. We work hard and we deserve a better place to live.
“We’ve got a lot of mice, we have to block all the holes in the house, but still they find ways to come in because of the messiness.
“They throw food bags, all their waste, even if it’s not a rubbish day.
“In the house, the mice ruin everything, they ruin the shopping and I have to throw a lot of good stuff into the bin.
“Parking is difficult as well, sometimes because of the messiness, broken glasses everywhere. It’s hard.
“Nobody cares about rubbish and things. Sometimes my husband takes some of it to his garage to dispose of it, but still, they bring it.
“There are no major problems, it’s just the rubbish and the mess. Otherwise, it’s safe and quiet.”
“Police Help Mother Duck And Ducklings Safely Cross Busy Street”
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