‘You can come from any walk of life and end up homeless'


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This week, we're highlighting the plight of the hidden homeless throughout the UK. Here Sireena, 35, who lives in short-term accommodation together with her son Ethan reveals how a change in circumstances left her on the streets.

hidden homeless

Phrases by Rosie Mullender

Rising up, I had an regular childhood with my mum and brothers in North London. Again then, my largest worry at Christmas was what presents I’d need to open. Right now, issues are very totally different as I embark on the Christmas season with a sense of worry about whether my son and I'll have a roof over my head in 2020.

I fell pregnant with my son aged 20, following my family’s move to the Republic of Eire once I was a young person. My son and I received our own home but I grew to hate dwelling there.  I was targeted by racists who would hurl insults at me in the course of the faculty pick-up and unable to bear the day by day abuse, I left to maneuver again to England once I was 29.

I endure from Fibromyalgia – a long-term situation which suggests I reside with persistent pain for which I receive an Employment and Help Allowance – so  I went to see the council about being housed whether they might help with housing. However because I’d lived in another country, I wasn’t eligible. They advised me that if I couldn’t find room in a shelter, I should take my son Ethan to sleep in a hospital waiting-room, to be protected! It was then that I began panicking.

We have been pressured to sleep on buddies’ sofas until I scraped together the £2,000 deposit for a one-room studio flat. Inside our first week there, I had to go to the native food financial institution, as a result of I’d spent my last penny. Although everybody was pretty, it felt so degrading. However I was left with little selection. Whenever you’ve received a toddler, you’ve obtained to place your delight apart.

We have been glad in our residence for almost two years, but then our landlord gave us an eviction notice so he might make improvements to the flat and raise the lease. I seemed in all places for an additional reasonably priced place, however nowhere would settle for us because I used to be on benefits.

temporary accommodation

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The day we have been evicted, Ethan and I have been put out on the streets with simply our few luggage of possessions. The council gave us emergency accommodation however it was a one-bedroom bedsit in an space with plenty of drug issues and prostitution. Ethan was 11, however we needed to share a single mattress for the subsequent yr. There were no consuming water in the building, it was infested with cockroaches, and the sink was so tiny, I had to wash the dishes and Ethan’s faculty uniform in the shower in a bucket.

That entire interval was a dwelling nightmare so I used to be relieved when a help worker from Shelter managed to get us rehoused. We moved right into a two-bedroom place last spring, and it seemed fantastic at first – a number of repairs wanted to be completed, however it was clean, and had a correct kitchen. It felt like a home

But then, autumn arrived – and with it got here the damp. Every time there was heavy rainfall outdoors, water would seep via the partitions, masking the whole lot in mould. Ethan’s room was so dangerous we had to transfer him out – from then on, he both had to sleep on the couch,or back in with me.

As a result of our block is because of be destroyed in Might 2020 to make approach for brand spanking new properties, the council weren’t keen to put money into repairs, however ultimately, with assist from Shelter, interior walls have been put in to protect us from the damp. Issues are a bit better, however because it’s only a cosmetic answer, there’s still mould in all places. My front room is black with it.

temporary accommodation

Getty Pictures

Ethan is my registered carer, and I can’t have pals over due to the state of his room. He never complains, nevertheless it nonetheless actually upsets me. He must be worrying about faculty and other teenage stuff. As an alternative, he’s having to fret about where we’re going to be dwelling in six months’ time.

Ethan is a superb boy and I attempt to ensure he nonetheless will get to be a child -even in our one-room bedsit, he had just a little nook with a desk so he might do his homework. At college, he’s been put in a gaggle for vibrant youngsters, and I’m determined for him to do properly at college so he doesn’t end up in a state of affairs like this.

The one thing a dad or mum is meant to have the ability to do is provide a protected house for their youngster, and in the event you can’t, it’s so demoralising. I must be excited about shopping for Christmas presents and placing decorations up – as an alternative, I’m having to wash the mould off the walls and purchase additional blankets because it’s so chilly.

Because of Shelter, we feel like we now have somebody preventing in our nook. But I didn’t assume my life would find yourself like this. That’s why it might be superb for individuals like us if others might donate what they will this Christmas. There’s this perception that  homeless individuals are all out on the streets;  they’re lazy, or alcoholics with drug problems. However many people with out permanent houses are working, but merely can’t afford to pay their lease and discover themselves on the streets. You'll be able to come from any stroll of life and end up homeless.

*There are numerous methods you'll be able to help Shelter in its struggle towards homelessness, click here to learn up on its numerous volunteering alternatives

The publish ‘You can come from any walk of life and end up homeless' appeared first on Marie Claire.