Yesterday I posted an account from my colleague Jo Wilson, who manages our advice services in Hastings, about how her service helped prevent two families becoming homeless just before Christmas.
I am so incredibly proud of the work she and all our colleagues do in our advice centres in Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings. I though how amazing it must be for Jo to achieve what she did yesterday.
But then she sent me another email, setting out all the other things she had to deal with yesterday: prepare to be inspired, dismayed, impressed, in equal measure.
“I’ve also dealt with an unlawful eviction today and stopped 2 clients with mental health issues from being unlawfully evicted and made street homeless. I battled with a local authority to get them to take a homeless application for a chap with significant physical health, mental health and substance misuse problems who is street homeless, and am still battling to get them to provide temporary accommodation for tonight.
“I had to remind a local authority that they had a legal duty to take a homeless application from a 16y year old and her sister who is 18 and who had attempted suicide 3 weeks ago. The local authority had failed to take a homeless application and told them to go to social services who allegedly stated that they would place the 16 year old but not her sister. As they did not want to be parted as they are the only family they have left, they left the social services building. They would be street homeless tonight if it wasn’t for BHT.
“Busy day, but nothing out of the ordinary for BHT advice services sadly.
“All I would like for Christmas is for Councils and Social Services to carry out their basic legal duties and for everyone to follow the laws set down for homelessness, Children Act assessments, and possession proceedings.”
If you are inspired by the work of Jo Wilson, here are a couple of things you can do:
Sign the petition asking the government to reopen debate around restrictions to legal aid
Make either a one off donation or take out a standing order to support our work