HELP US LEAVE HOMELESSNESS and start our lives.

by natalie mcneil in Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom

HELP US LEAVE HOMELESSNESS and start our lives.

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Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by December 20th 2019 at 12:14am

After two long years of homelessness, the council have just offered me a house, and we have not one bit of furniture to go in it.

by natalie mcneil in Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom

Hi, this is exceptionally hard for me to do. But I have researched a lot and it seems there is a lot of good people in the world and I am finding it very hard to receive any kind of help from any charities or from the council. Actually NO help, I have tried everything else. So here it goes...

I became homeless in June 2017, my son was only one years of age. I had went back to work six months after my son was born, but struggled due to being a lone parent. I worked for about seven months and then had to leave my job, a job which I very much love. I was struggling with childcare and it would end up that my son would of had to go to nursery which I would of had to pay for. It made no sense to work and to just pay for nursery, as I still would not of been making enough to cover my bills this way. I then had to apply for benefits, and at this point I was put into universal credit which once you applied you would be waiting 5-7 weeks for a first payment. Well I ended up waiting seven weeks, no payment and no rent paid for seven weeks. At this point my landlord realised I was maybe going to struggle to pay her monthly on time and served me an eviction notice. She wasn't the most understanding but I understood and applied to the council for a council house. I thought maybe it would take a few months. Two years later, staying with family for the first two months, then on a friend's sofa for eight months... And then being put by the council in hotels and b&bs for three months... I ended up back sofa surfing back between two friends and one family member for nearly a year! As you can imagine a b&b with a toddler isn't easy. Being trapped in one room for 24hours then being kicked out at 10am and having to sit in a hotel lobby until they call me at 4pm to tell me where I am staying that night, half the time it was a totally different hotel or b&b but sometimes I got lucky and it was the same hotel to just check into a new room. It was hell, not being able to cook for my son or even just have any of his toys or a space for him to call his own, was heartbreaking. 

I have just had my offer for the house, and I have accepted. I was under the impression the council would help me to furnish the property and decorate it. But I am now going on week three, with a mattress on the livingroom floor. No carpets or vinyl so the house is losing a lot of heat. The walls are all chipped and not painted. I have no furniture what so ever and I do not have anything in my kitchen besides a microwave and a kettle. We have no fridge, no cooker, no wash machine. Lucky it's cold just now so the milk stays cold on the windowsill. 

I don't need a lot, we don't need a lot. But I would like to just be able to cook a meal for my son and to sit on a sofa at night and watch a movie with him. And for him to be able to sleep in his own room, in his own bed. I know 500 pounds will not get me everything I need, but I can get at least a fridge, a cooker and a bed for my son. 

Hopefully the council will try to help me soon, but at this rate I will be in the same predicament come Christmas. And that would genuinely break my heart. 

Thank you for reading. 

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