I’ve been flat sitting for the last 5 weeks , but my sofa surfing starts again tomorrow,I’ve had such a good few days and had to go and ruin it by trying yet again to deal with my accommodation issues.
My usual case worker wasn’t there, so again the difficulty in dealing with someone new, who really wasn’t that interested, there was a lot of sighing and asking the same questions over and, I could feel my agitation rising, it’s all there in the file so why she felt the need to nit pick over the details was beyond me.
So I explained again, what was required and that by now I should have some answers, she pointed out quickly that I had already turned down some accommodation, you are allowed 3 refusals, the place that was offered was not suitable being that it was a halfway house, in a different area, the cost of coming into town wouldn’t have left me little or no resources to buy food, or to pay bills, and the whole point is that they are supposed to find somewhere locally, so I wouldn’t have to change doctors or seek work elsewhere.
As she read through the list, she noted that I wasn’t really a priority despite my age and have a mental illness and diabetes type 2 if it was type 1 it would have been easier to place you,“excuse me for not having a more serious illness!!!!”
Again I explained I realised that ,and it would take longer, but it has been more than 6 weeks actually and I really just needed a status update, because without a permanent address there is not a lot I can do to get my life back on track, yes I freelance but it doesn’t make me enough to meet all of my financial needs hence I would need assistance with that too.
She was just so bloody superior in her attitude, she is not my case worker it wasn’t for her to make any changes to what had already been discussed and decided upon.
She noted again that I was not a priority because I’m not drug/alcohol dependent or been in prison I didn’t even answer that one, but said I do have depression documented and diabetes and I’m homeless, looking me up and down, she said “you’re not our typical homeless person” sarcastically I replied “perhaps I shouldn’t have showered today or put clean clothes on or wore lipstick, not everyone is street homeless and get this she said ” well some people have real problems” the red mist descended and I lost it, so much so one of the other case workers had to come in and take over.
When I’d calmed down somewhat I explained I didn’t come here to be judge nor was it her place to decide the severity of my problems just by looking at the way I was dressed and talk, there different types of homeless, the common factor is that were homeless, what would she have me do develop drug/alcohol problems and a spell inside to deem me worthy of help.
There is a huge stigma associated with depression the same with homelessness, so I’m dealing with a double whammy if you will, I’m not complaining I’m just trying to get help, however when supposed professionals are there to help and don’t preferring to heap all their own judgmental attitudes on you, you walk away feeling much worse, and a failure because your life has spun out of control, and made to feel guilty because they think that you’re not recognising that other people have problems to.
We talked for a while longer and she was quite apologetic actually calling in her supervisor to listen to what I had to say about the way I had been treated, my last comments were that even though the were a government-funded agency and who are well-known within the community, they should take the time to train their staff properly in how to deal with the myriad of people who walk through the doors in the end it would be beneficial for all concerned.
As of yet there is nothing suitable, because the 2 senior staff realised that homeless people are different and know that some of us don’t need hostel/halfway type accommodations, but they don’t come up that often hence why the wait is longer, but as soon as something does come up I’ll be contacted.
As I keep saying when helping no matter what the issue there must be basic understanding of what the issues are I’m not asking for special treatment. but do deserve to be treated like a human being, I don’t envy their jobs they’re tasked with an immense problem with limited funds which have to be used carefully I get that totally, but just being human goes a long way.