Homeless Learning Disabled Woman Forced To Live In Tent
A HOMELESS woman with learning difficulties has been forced to live in a tent for the last three weeks after being denied council accommodation.
Joelle Fletcher, 25, who also suffers from Asperger syndrome and severe depression, has been after suitable accommodation from Redditch Council for a number of years.
She has been offered hostels in Worcester, which she accepted and stayed in for four months, but because of her condition and the fact her support network is in Redditch, she was unable to remain in.
Speaking from her makeshift home in a friend’s garden in Church Hill, Ms Fletcher said: “What good is a hostel in Worcester for someone in my circumstances.
“I need a flat and must be near my support network, and support workers which are here in Redditch.”
She added: “The situation is getting ridiculous and is not helping my disorder. I find myself getting really upset.”
Ms Fletcher admitted that the ordeal has had an adverse affect on her depression and that she has recently started to self harm.
She said: “It would be hard enough for anyone to live in a tent but with my conditions it is even more of a problem.
“It is starting to get me down, it’s very stressful and just not very nice – especially when there is torrential rain and thunderstorms.
“I know there are flats available in Redditch and given how long I’ve been waiting and my circumstances I don’t think it’s that big an ask. Anywhere in the town will do, as long as I have my support network near me.”
A spokesman from Redditch Council said: “Ms Fletcher recently approached the council as homeless and we are currently investigating what, if any, duty she is owed and what support we are able to offer.
“We expect to be able to advise her soon.”
He added that the council works with healthcare professionals and social services to ensure it offers appropriate accommodation and that the goal is to provide sustainable support that helps a person manage and deal with the factors that caused their homelessness in the first place.