Ever had days whereby you just can't cope? It's all too much? What happens when your a 52 year old woman caring for your parents who have dementia and live in sheltered housing. Your children have moved out and got on with their lives, but you're stuck in a 3 bed house being charged bedroom tax. Letters come in demanding money, but because of that mental breakdown you had 20 years ago, you never really did recover. You feel inferior to the 'authorities' and just don't understand Job Centre Plus Universal Credit. It's worse when you are scared of your Work Coach because they share a surname with someone you fear. Your best friend has died, your family are passing away around you and you are all alone.
This is D's story, I met her tonight. I was driving home and a friend rung me to say they found someone collapsed outside of Pitsea station who was homeless. I took her for a coffee and something to eat. BUT SUBWAY would not let me off 30p to get her a sub - I had no money on me, I explained what I was trying to get this lady help. We live in a sad world when money is more important than humanity!!
Anyway, it was 7.30pm so I phoned Shelter - phones were busy. I phoned streetlink and they could come out in one to three days. I phoned Basildon Borough Council out of hours team - which said they were closed. I looked at HARP Southend which I couldn't find an out of hours number, but my friend who works there said phone shelter or streetlink and sent me the links. I then phoned the police, whilst I was on hold two officers entered Subway, I asked them. They gave me outdated Basildon Winter scheme.
At this point I was crying. It has been 20 years since I was homeless, but I have now realised how privileged I was living in a London Borough. Having car/sofa surfed my way onto the streets I slept on the steps of Romford