Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/762/16569
Cold, hungry, young and homeless
I live in rural Derbyshire. We have a couple of large outbuildings and young homeless men often shelter in them.
They cause us no trouble and just need somewhere warm for the night. On Saturday 13 April we found a cold, hungry and scared 21 year old girl sheltering there. She had fled from her partner who was mentally and physically abusing her.
I told her she can stay with us until I could get some help for her. I called the police who interviewed this young woman but there was nothing they could do for her.
On Monday 15 April I spent all day ringing our local authorities who said they cannot help her apart from a night in a youth hostel.
The young lady started to panic as she had been sexually abused in a youth hostel months before.
I agreed to keep her at our home until I could find her somewhere safe to go with the help she deserved.
Local charities and social workers said they cannot help her unless she had a mental health problem, was disabled or had kids.
I have never felt so frustrated and angry, I was told because of lack of funding it was all a postcode lottery.
Here is a vulnerable young woman, badly needing help and advice who was getting nowhere fast. Eventually the police gave me the number of a local women's aid charity, so after five days she found a place at a women's refuge.
When I rang my local council to explain about the amount of young men that shelter here and now this young lady, they were shocked but did not want to know.
The young woman is now getting the help and care she needs. What would have happened to her had she not sheltered in our out-buildings I shudder to think.
But what sort of society do we live in when the government is cutting back funding to help such vulnerable people?
This government should hang their heads in shame for what they're doing to the poor and working class though they don't live in the real world and as long as they're OK then nothing else matters.
It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. We all need to stand shoulder to shoulder and do something about it. One day it could be your daughter or your mother who badly needs the help.
In The Socialist 24 April 2013:
Socialist Party NHS news and campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
The Socialist; readers' comments