14 July, 2006
You hear and see things that sometimes you think how can this happen in this day and age but two nights ago I met a man called William from Bradford. He used to be an area manager managing six pubs for a local brewery. Then he had a stroke and became I suppose unemployable and life was just about manageable he was still receiving sick pay from his employer but he was finding it harder and harder to make ends meet. Then he had another stroke and over the course of time things went from bad to worse. He lost his flat which was privately rented and was told by his council that he couldn't be helped so he moved and found himself in London homeless. Now he's been here for six months and still has to visit the hospital for check ups and so forth and has all the relevant documents. He went to an advice center to see about getting accommodation and was told in a round about way that because he only had a minor health problem and he could get about, it would be very difficult getting him housed or into a hostel and that if he had a drug or alcohol or even a mental health issue he could probably be found somewhere quickly. He's a diabetic as well. Which should put him on top of any list. So how ill do you have to become before you are a priority? This is the problem I am hearing about here in London. If you are just homeless it is much harder to get a place to live. The government are saying on one hand everyone entitled to have somewhere to live but it does seem there are guidelines which does not include people without problems. this to me is a great disadvantage.