28 June, 2005

Why does someone become homeless?

Speaking from my own experience all I can say is that choosing to live on the streets is a last resort. I had a serious drug problem and no hostel would take me and if they did drugs came before rent. In the sixties no one saw drugs or homelessness as a problem until the late William Shearman and a few friends who founded Crisis the charity for the homeless saw it as a problem. So he and a few friends started to show people just how great a problem this country had. It's quite funny because even they thought it a problem that could be fixed in a couple of years. Had they known how big a problem it was then maybe things would have been done differently but thirty years later the problem has gotten worse and crisis has gotten much bigger.
Politics does play a part in the cycle of homelessness and poverty? Governments need to understand people more. It need to take into account that not everyone is the perfect member of society. Some are lets say slightly flawed. It needs think about policies much more before introducing them, like ID cards how are people on the breadline are going to be able to afford one? When they are already struggling to make ends meet as it is. To me it's just another way a person can become homeless. If you look at things sensibly and just take one of things you can actually be taken to court for today, no TV license £1000 fine or go to jail and who wants to go to jail?

1 comment:

DaddyTango said...

Hi Jamie
This is Jason McGuffie here thankyou for responding to my post.
I would like to share my story with you. My problems started in November 2002 when i was released from custody. I was serving time in the Manchester area and it was getting close to my release date and they still hadn't found me anywhere to stay i was just getting the full homelesss dicharge grant a travel warrant and a good bye but nowhere to live. I then spoke to the C.A.R.A.T team in Forest Bank who got me a place in a supported hostel but when i got there i found it to be full of users both B & W (Gear & Stone) and there was all kinds of goings on there that i was trying to get away from, of which they told me totally the opposite. I stayed there for 2 years and moved on successfully into yet another hostel as Manchester city council were dragging their heals finding me even a B+B, so i moved in to this new hostel and it was a little bit better than the previous place, but still my concerns were that there was still all the usual circumstances and issues going on that are prominent in most homeless hostels. I.E bullying for money, intimidation, rampant drug use, alcoholism, begging, stealing, violence, sharing equipment and all this was not relayed to me when i moved in. I know this will happen in hostels as there will always be that culture in these areas but better awareness and management also the introduction of activities such as group work, community activities and time management initiatives/opportunities this would help some of the people get away from it. The recently i got together with my partner who i am still with now and have a child on the way with (and we were using contraception but still got caught out, but i dont believe in adoption)I love Rachel very much and we met in this hostel but she was 19 and placed in a hostel that houses adults and i think this should not be happening as she was very influencable. We then had to register with homeless families in Manchester who put us on their list and told us we were now in high priority need for housing. But failed to tell me that my other live rehousing application that i had from 2002 was now defunct. So i was still applying for properties in that number for nearly a year to no avail, then they tell me that i was putting (Bidding)for properties in to a non existent application basket like a shopping basket. You can imagine how i felt, i felt sick as no one told me this was the case for nearly a year. We then got a new application number from Homeless families and were told that we may be placed in either a homeless families hostel or in a B+B. They told me this after i had attended the launches of the Manchester Multi Agency Homelessness Forum, the launch of the homelessness directory, and the big voice tour, at the launch of the directory there were forums for dicussion and the director of housing was there he said that they were going to stop using these facilties for children and families even in the homeless strategy and policy report 2003-07 it clearly states that families should be high priority for rehousing. The situation that i find myself in now is i have been told that i had to move out of the hostel i was stsying in as they have a no children policy and as my girlfriend was 7 months + they said we had to go, so homeless families called me at 11.30 in the morning at work and told me that they had a dispersal flat and that i would have to move into it the same day or they would make no further offers to us i then had to make my excuses and leave, but the property is in Wythenshawe and i work in Bolton which are 2 hours 30 mins apart on the bus. Then i had to pay for a removal van out of my own pocket which was £80 and had no help from them, i then had to lose two days pay to move in. I am still applying for properties in the new application number but have not had any reply as of yet and why could they not have just put Rachel on to the already live application. I am having a very stressful time at the moment as the rent is higher and there is a service charge, as well as council tax and travel and food and prescription charges. It is all getting to much. Our worker then had the cheek to say to me well you may have to come out of work then. This is not an option as i was out of work for over 5 years and i have tried very hard to get where i am today and i dont want to end up loing this job due to not bieng able to get rehoused by the council. I am not nor have i ever been a problem tenant i have no rent arrears. But yet here i am 5 years later still homeless but now im a homeless family instead. I hate the fact that i have to bring my little girl(the baby is a girl)in to this world without any prospect of me finding anywhere to live before she is born in less than 8 weeks are very slim and it makes me angry as she has done nothing to deserve this. It will be a very expensive time anyway when she arrives let alone the cost of moving house and the fact that now i dont qualify for any furniture grants or loans ETC I just want to get settled and be stable for when the baby arrives but looking at things now that is not going to happen.
Thankyou for your support Jamie it really is good to talk to you again and if you need anything dont hesitate to get in touch.
Jason McGuffie