Hi, I’m Z, and I’m a queer working-class non-binary Arab person who has been made homeless in Glasgow, Scotland. I need your help for emergency shelter over the winter months.
Before the pandemic I was making a living off of my freelance self-employment, but like many, over the course of the pandemic I have struggled to make ends meet as a self-employed person. For the first year of the pandemic I was surviving on Universal Credit and became homeless in the process as it wasn’t enough to live on as an undiagnosed disabled person.
Please bear in mind that disabled people pay a financial penalty in life on everyday living costs – on average £570 per month, with one in five paying over £1,000 extra per month. Extra costs mean that disabled people are left with less money in their pocket than non-disabled people. (Source: UK disability charity ‘Scope’).
Since then, I have been assigned a Homeless Caseworker by the state, and have received a diagnosis for bipolar affective disorder type 2. This diagnosis has also meant that I have been assigned a nurse by the NHS who is supposed to help me with my treatment and day-to-day living.
Since I have become homeless, I have lost access to some essential resources. I still have access to a certain amount of Universal Credit, but not the full amount - my housing costs as covered by Universal Credit have been cut until I find permanent housing. The housing I will be using over the winter months does not count as ‘permanent’ by UC assessors. The nurse that has been assigned to me will not commence treatment for my disability until I have permanent housing, as she doesn’t believe it will be effective until I have stability in my living situation. So ironically, I cannot access these state services in full, because I am homeless, which is when I need them most.
Having secure housing is a basic necessity for all, but is especially fatal to live without during a pandemic/over Scotland’s coldest months/when you’re disabled, queer, trans and a person of colour.
However, things are looking up. My Homeless Caseworker, who I have a good relationship with, has been working to secure state housing for me, but it could take several months. Once I do have a permanent address, I will be able to begin treatment with my nurse. I will also be paid Universal Credit to cover my housing once I have this permanent housing. My nurse has also begun an application for PIP, which are payments that will support my needs as a disabled person - this may take a while to be assessed, but it will come through eventually I hope. So, in time, these state services will be able to support me - it’s just a waiting game of living without them which is very dangerous for my well-being.
While I wait for my permanent housing, and the resulting state services to come into effect, I’m raising emergency funds for secure shelter and living costs over the winter months. To make it through December, January and February I need a total of £1990 to survive. I am hoping by March that my caseworker will have secured permanent housing for me.
Financial breakdown for three months of living (total £1989.21)
- Rent £900 (300x3)
- Gas and electric bills at an estimate of £210 for 3 months (£70x3)
- Phone credit at £75 (25x3)
- Groceries £150 (50x3)
- Therapy £180 (60x3)
- I am contractually stuck with an Adobe subscription which is £49.94 a month (49.94x3=149.82)
- Estimated £50 travel costs for the three months (mainly to access my belongings in storage)
- £174.39 to store belongings that I can’t carry around with me (58.13x3)
- Crowdfunder translation fees at an estimated £100 (this platform takes a total of 2.4% + 20p per transaction as a fee)
I really appreciate any help I get over this scary time, so thank you.