Notice Has Been Served

I didn't think things could get much worse for us.  They have.

Earlier this week we received some post.  Some rather unpleasant post.  We have been served Notice to Quit the hostel in which we currently live by 6 June.

panic
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I was slightly comforted by the fact the letter arrived on Friday 3 May and yet we didn't receive it until Tuesday.  You see, it was  Harry's 3rd Birthday on 3rd May.  The post doesn't usually get delivered here until around 3pm.  It is delivered to a communal mailbox, the staff sort it out and then we head to the office to collect it usually.  Except on Friday.  I popped into the office before going out, explained it was Harry's birthday and therefore could all post be put under our door for our return.  The staff don't work weekends or Bank Holidays.  This particular piece of post wasn't given to us (whilst personal, handwritten post was put under our door) until Tuesday because the staff were mindful of the fact that over the course of a long weekend, there wouldn't actually be anything either myself or Dean, or in fact anyone could do!  Save for shed a few more tears.  A small gesture which felt so very human during a process which is littered with filling tick boxes and nameless, faceless people.

Taking Action

A few hours after reading that letter, I decided I had cried enough.  Those that know me will know I am emotional but then I remembered, crying wouldn't do anything.  To ignore a problem wasn't going to make it go away and somehow, anyhow, I had to try and maintain a roof over my son's head.  My first port was to call the Social Worker we have had contact with recently, following Harry's accident and trip to A&E.  She had seemed nice enough and we had previously been told that should the Council decide they no longer have a duty to house us then Social Services would help, would have to help due to Harry's age.  I was informed that the worst case scenario, should we be unable to find somewhere to live prior to 9 June, Social Services could get an order which would mean Harry could be taken into care.  She did also advise me to contact Shelter, keep bidding under Bristol City Council's Home Choice (for which we STILL do not have a bidding reference number!) and to be honest with any friends or family who may be in a position to help us, even if it meant splitting the family up.

My next stop, I decided, was our Health Visitor.  Again, we have had minimal contact with her, save from when we initially moved into the hostel which I believe is standard procedure when you are deemed homeless.  This Health Visitor was the person who made the referral for Harry to start at nursery a full term before he would usually be entitled to the funding.  She had much the same to say as the Social Worker but also offered to pay a visit in a few days.

On Thursday, the Health Visitor came around.  She gave us a referral to a local charity which gives away food.  Food you can choose yourself to suit your own tastes and dietary requirements, although this is only short term (six weeks) it will no doubt help enormously with regard to sticking money to one side to fund a move.  They also offer advice on budgeting, looking at where we could cut back for now and the future.  The HV also mentioned that Harry's nursery have staff that know a lot about the benefits system, who could help to make sure we can have access to all the benefits and grants that are available so I have email the family liason there to request a meeting.  After picking up Harry from nursery on Thursday, I was in tears again, considering to pull him out as he had spent the whole two hours crying, as he had done every day that week.  So on Friday we decided to have a family day at home.

Some Positive News Today!

Today we went to Shelter whilst Harry was at nursery.  The lady we spoke to was fairly optimistic that we have several options and said that she is going to spend the next few days reading up on case law and also suggested that there are, or should be grants/interest free loans open to us.  It would seem the main grounds for at least an extension or some assistance, is the fact that I am about to have some pretty major surgery.  How one is meant to recover from surgery when street homeless is any one's guess.

On the plus side, today I also got notification of my acceptance of DLA, the higher rate mobility allowance.  Not only has it finally been recognised that actually, I can barely walk but the money will be back dated from my initial application in January.  When that comes through, that will be set to one side to go towards finding somewhere to live.

I am lucky though.

Despite it feeling like life can't get much harder, I am aware that it could.  I know that, whilst my HV says she has never seen it happen, my son could be taken into care.  I am aware that I have amazing family and friends who would do everything in their power to ensure that doesn't happen and sadly, so so many people don't have that.  I know I won't be street homeless and we won't lose our son.  Yet it is still a concern in such an uncertain world.

As ever, thank you for listening.  If you got this far.

29 thoughts on “Notice Has Been Served

  1. oh my! I don't know what to say. Can you approach your local MP and get help 'from above' as well as from the wonderful charities who are trying to help you?

    Someone who is versed in political-ese needs to understand how to amend the applications for people in conditions similar to yours.

    Much love to you all
    x
    from fun to mum recently posted..Kids and Dirt. No, thanks.My Profile

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    1. Post author

      Emma, you are an inspiration to me. You have battled cancer once, are doing so again. If you can fight that, I can fight this, surely? xx

      Reply
  2. Kara Guppy

    I still cannot believe they are putting you through this - it's all so unfair.
    I have every faith that Shelter can and will help you and I strongly urge you to contact your local MP with all the information you have about your circumstances and health.
    You have a whole community here to support you - if you need anything, please just ask xxxxx

    Reply
    1. Post author

      I know I have a whole community, an awesome one but I really don't know what more I can do other than what I am doing. I honestly don't see how an MP could help; to me they are the people that permit this sort of "fit all circumstances into a tick box" and I understand the need for that, to a certain extent. I will see what Shelter suggest this week. x

      Reply
  3. Sarah

    You've possibly already been told about this but I know when we were made homeless I had no idea.
    http://www.turn2us.org.uk/default.aspx

    They'll run through a benefit check with you as we'll as help you find any charities you are eligible to approach for help. Hope it's of some use & I wish you safety and security in the very near future x

    Reply
  4. I got that far! As you know, it breaks my heart to know that you are going through this. It all seems so unfair. But pleased to hear some positive steps are being taken and people are on your side. I hope you will ultimately end up living somewhere better than you are now.
    I agree with Kara, I think this community can help you, if you want it. If a week or two down the line it looks like things aren't going the way you'd hoped, let us know! Look what the blogging community has done for Matilda Mae and is about to do for Emma. If there's one thing bloggers are good at it, it's raising awareness.
    Sending hugs as ever. X
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted..Gappy teethMy Profile

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  5. Oh dude. I would say I can't believe your council could be so unfair and generalised in their decision making - but I'm really sad to say I can.

    It's sickenly unfair especially when you already have your plate piled high.

    Wishing you every strength and kickass move to get through this, and know we're all behind you every step of the way, just shout OK?

    Much love

    xxx

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  6. Your local council are a disgrace! I really hope Shelter come up with a solution for you. I also agree with the comments about the blogging community, if there is anyway we can help, let us know xx

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  7. Well done on speaking to Shelter and great news on the DLA, too.

    I would explore every avenue you have privately in finding alternative accommodation, as soon as you can. If anybody has a spare room that has said you can go to them, I really would accept it. Whilst that lady is reading up on case law time is passing and that leaves less time for you to find somewhere else if she doesnt come up with anything concrete.

    Explore every option you can and take all help offered.

    Here's to a swift resolution so you can concentrate on being a family again and not having all these stresses to deal with

    Reply
  8. Oh Hun, haven't read all your posts so don't know the full story, but I really hope you find a solution soon and find a home. X

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  9. What an awful position to be in, I can only say well done for ending your post on a positive note. I'll keep everything crossed that it all turns out well for you. When things go drastically wrong for me I always take the attitude that it has happened for a reason, I hope your reason is that you are going to be soon re-housed into somewhere much better. xx
    Anne recently posted..My Pregnancies - BooMy Profile

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  10. I read right to the end as well. Its amazing how society things it can treat decent people like this. Is private renting not an option?
    Approx 16 years ago when we were in private rented our landlord sold the house from under us and we went to the council looking for rehousing, but because there is more than 8 yrs between the girls the council ruling at the time was they could not share a room, therefore we had to have 4 bedrooms ( we managed fine in 3 and the girls were well use to it).
    Their solution at the time was to offer to take some, or all of the kids into care, so that they could accommodate us. OOhh which one did I love least???
    Hopefully with everybody pulling together you will get there, so a huge hug and some good luck comes your way. Chin up hun.
    Elaine Livingstone recently posted..Project 365 12th - 18th MayMy Profile

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