Many of you who have read my blog know that I’ve been homeless for the last 4yrs, and the struggles I’ve had getting help, because I didn’t fit a particular criteria, coupled with the profound shame, I felt was like self triggering bullets which caused my mental state to be always on the verge of collapse.
Homelessness in the UK is still on the rise, as affordable housing is almost non-existent, our government seem hell-bent on making the poor of society pay for what they cannot afford such as the basic necessity of having a roof over your head.
Every day I see homeless people on the streets and new faces being added everyday, many of those seem to be very young and are the group that are most vulnerable, to the various predators who prey on them.
Off my soap box, this year my own struggle with being invisible continued, even though I had help from a friend when discharged from hospital back in January and the local councils inability to help me, I was back sleeping in the shop where I used to volunteer.
This in itself was not conducive to mental stability, as usual I didn’t want anyone to know, therefore I had to leave at 6am every morning go to Macdonald’s to have coffee which usually last about 4hrs, before going off to the days endless appointments.
My case worker is fabulous, she called each day,and made the rounds with me, often speaking up for me, we also filled in countless forms, as well as searching for agencies that could help me or at least refer me to someone who could.
Well finally I got lucky, we found a group in the next county that gives assistance to people like me, we filled in the application online, within 2 days they called and we made an appointment.
For me it really was the last resort, I had all kinds of nightmare scenarios running through my head, including suicide if no help was forth coming.
Heart in mouth I sat down and again explained my story in all its glory, leaving out nothing(what did I have to lose!!!) finally mouth dry I finished.
The first thing said was “I’m sorry this happened to you” my heart sinking waiting for the inevitable polite phrases which basically say they can’t help, this time it was different, they could help and would do so, I was immediately placed on their books.
The scary thing was that they explained is that I should have received help long before this and because of most people’s ignorance and budget cuts to housing etc I was brushed off because I accepted what they said, also not adding me to the homeless figures as they did with many it was a way of fudging the real numbers(disgusting I think).
The offer was this, I was to find a place within my budget, check that the landlord accepted benefit payments and they would pay the first months rent deposit and any fees required.
I was a bit non plussed and explained that I didn’t have the means to pay back what would be at least £1000, my bubble started to burst, when they laughed and explained that I didn’t have to pay it back as they would get the deposit back when my tenancy ended I literally stopped breathing for about 30 seconds as it all sank in.
I started to ask around and as luck would have there was a studio flat becoming available, right in town, the guy manages the apartments put a word in for me, took a couple of weeks and it was okayed.
The agency duly paid first months and the deposit and as of the 27TH JULY 2016 I WAS NO LONGER HOMELESS.
I’m going to stop here and tell you the rest in a few days time.
Huge hugs and thanks for those here who supported me on this journey xxx