Charity

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A-Z Blogging Challenge Theme: Homelessness

Once homeless, meaning you have nowhere to stay except the streets, there are several charities that can help, such as SHELTER to name one.

If any of the charities are able to take your case they must have full disclosure from you, and any paper work you have, I know I walked about with a huge bag of dog-eared paper work for weeks and weeks, that was literally all I had that said who I was and my current status.

I was initially directed to the night shelter the first night, “just turn up at around 6.30pm” I was told, so a friend of mine took me, there was a crowd outside a mixture of young and old all waiting to enter when they opened the doors at 7.

Sitting in the car I could feel the rising panic as my situation became a reality I would not be sleeping in my own bed that night, we alighted from the car and a couple of the boys helped me get my case out, one of the young girls informed me there would be no room as those waiting were already residents, my insides were churning and I felt the beginnings of a panic attack, I felt as though becoming unglued.

The attendant finally opened the door and the others were going in, and from nowhere I could hear screaming, just loud shrill screeches, not realising it was me until my friend started to shake me, the very idea of even entering terrifying, both were trying to calm me down but it just got worse as I fought against them, it was like wearing cement shoes, I just couldn’t accept it, in the end the attendant told my friend that there were no spaces anyway and I would have to be referred by the council or come back the next day to see if there was a vacancy, I never did go back there.

Once safely back in the car it took about an hour for me to calm down and my friend(who was actually a friend of my neighbour’s) started to phone around looking for guest houses etc for the next few days.

I was reasonably coherent by the time we left and we went to several place and eventually S (I shall call her) paid for me to stay in a local hotel for a few days( I’m happy to say I was able to repay the £120 she loaned me) and is a kindness I’ll never forget.

The next up early to go to the local council to see what assistance was available, NONE because my home was repossessed it’s deemed that I made myself intentionally homeless, I explained that I had nowhere to after the Saturday and could they refer me to someone who could help( they didn’t even suggest the night shelter which they’re supposed to) the reply was to give me a leaflet with several local agencies that might be able to help and as they were mainly charitable, their help was dependent on several factors.

To be fair each year they fight for funding from the government, and each year the funds available decrease, which means they have to be very selective about how they can help you, they are very sympathetic, however their hands are tied due to budgetary requirements.

I did not and still don’t fit the criteria:

I had a job (even though it started the day after I lost my home)

I wasn’t pregnant

I didn’t have children

I wasn’t at the risk of domestic violence

I wasn’t addicted to drugs/alcohol

I had not been recently released from prison

I had no disabilities

I had no mental health issues, my depression wasn’t severe enough, it did become so , but that’s for another letter in the A-Z

I wasn’t vulnerable

I also wasn’t in receipt of benefits and to be able I would need an address, so if I lost my job(which was the case shortly afterwards) I still wouldn’t be able to claim or so I was told and would need to be situated somewhere.

So for weeks I bounced around the various agencies only to be given the same answers, I filled in so many forms, my throat dry from telling the same tale over and over, I began to break down bit by bit the sheer stress of having to deal with this and the constant terror that I would end up on the streets, within a month I crashed and burned, my situation was untenable and the black dog caught and engulfed me and with nowhere else to turn I succumbed and remained homeless.

 

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About therabbitholez

I returned to this blog in September 2014, after a 2 year absence, due to depressive illness and homelessness. This journey charts the rocky road to recovery and my feelings about it, and getting a home together after losing everything, this too has been a rocky rocky, both things connected on many levels, but separate at the same time. If you want to know more please read my blog:) and comment on any blog you like I enjoy the interaction, and belong to a great community on here. Thanks for reading.:)
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10 Responses to Charity

  1. Gale Wright says:

    Reading this, I felt like I was right there with you. I am always struck by how impossible it is get help when you need relatively small things. But you have explained the dynamic very well here. You needed a roof over your head, not expensive re-hab or hospitalization or even necessarily food (since you still had income at that time). Just a roof. But no, that was the one thing you couldn’t have. That kind of thing has always pissed me off, probably due to personal experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

    • when I later I did need more of the services as I was in fact quite ill i couldn’t always make the appointments, because I couldn’t go out, i was between a rock and a hard place and all I’ve achieved since then has been with little official help, although I’m still stuck in the system.

      I have been offered a couple of places but they were unsuitable in terms of they were too far away and I wouldn’t be able to work and they were half way houses, in which there were several serious issues such as drug abuse, violence, theft, which i refused and was made to feel like I was being too picky.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gale Wright says:

        The old “beggars can’t be choosers” attitude. You weren’t being picky, you were being smart. Another thing the system can’t accommodate. There needs to be advocates to usher people through this. Money, though…..

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s always about the money and were it can be best used, however people fall through the cracks as other avenues of help are often closed to them.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. allisonwrites93 says:

    Wow, thank you for posting about this! It’s something that definitely needs more attention. My husband used to conduct a writing workshop for homeless people here – they wrote articles that a local university printed for free, and they were given 20 copies to sell for $1/pop – and were able to keep any money they made.

    I’m adding your blog to my feed – can’t wait to read more. The way you write pulls me right in, and is so suspenseful!

    – Allison
    http://www.allisonwrites.com

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much for reading and commenting. It is a subject that is neglected somewhat, because we all imagine homeless people to be on the street, and rarely think there are other reasons why people become so.

      I wanted to use the challenge not only to be factual, but to show it can happen to anyone, and with the stigma attached and the fight to get help and re-housed.

      Like

  3. Cat says:

    Wow! I was right in there with you…. OMG how terrifying and heart breaking at the same time. Maybe when you’re settled one day, you might think about writing about your experience, you do it so well

    Liked by 2 people

    • Your the second person to say that!, thanks for reading, it’s the first time I’ve layed it all out like this, it’s a bit tough, but it’s long overdue that I talk about it properly.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. lv2trnscrb says:

    Visiting from the A/Z challenge. So sorry about your situation with being homeless. It is a terrible situation to be in and you are right, sometimes there is not help out there because you don’t qualify for this or qualify for that. My son’s girlfriend was homeless for a bit (long story, but we could not have her live with us) and she went through the same things you mentioned. She was able to get into a shelter but could only stay for 30 days. She was able to get into the next part of the program because she had a child, but the child was having trouble living on the streets so she went back to the grandmother. Eventually my son and her broke up and she went to live with friends. She had been kicked out of her house because of not looking for a job for over a year while living at home despite repeated askings of her parents to do so. Kicking her out did force her to eventually find a job but it was a hard few months for her. Now two years later she is cooking at a major amusement park and sharing an apartment with others. Like I said it is a terrible situation to be homeless. I would write a book if I told you why she couldn’t stay with us, you just have to trust that we prayerfully considered it and knew it was not the best thing for all involved.

    betty

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for commenting, you have some understanding of the difficulties involved.

      You son’s girlfriend faced quite a tough time, and is just one of the statistics as to why young people are homeless even if they have a child.

      It’s hard to take people into your home and to be franks you do have to think carefully even if you do know tthe difficulties they are facing, however if it doesn’t seem right then the only choice your left with is refusal.

      She appears to have got herself together now which is a good thing, but it just proves the point that it can and does happen to anybody.

      Like

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