My name is Ian, I’m 26 years old. I have cerebral palsy which means I cannot walk and I use a manual wheelchair.

I’m about to be made homeless in less than thirteen days yet despite going to Shropshire Council Housing Department in May  2012 (3 months ago) to let them know of my situation I am no closer to to finding temporary accommodation.

 

Shropshire Council don’t know what to do with me and have told me I face either residential care (in an OAP home) or isolation in a Travel Lodge no where close to amenities or my family in Shrewsbury.

Credit should be give to all at People2People, who in spite of it not being their job, has bent over backwards in an attempt to help me. Ultimately this has been in vain thus far.

I googled the Travel Lodges they have told me I could be placed in, followed the streetview routes to work out where the hotels were (Gobowen, Ludlow and Telford), looked at what was around them, hunted down the bus routes and location of the bus stops and searched how far it would be to walk (or in my case wheel) as well as checking the cost of the accommodation – it is all despairing.

 

I wasn’t able to find accessible accommodation without an age restriction on the rental market. For the last 18 months my girlfriend and I have tried to find somewhere accessible for us  (looking both in Shropshire and the NW where she lives). As a result my girlfriend’s family brought her and me a bungalow but that needs adaptations and won’t be ready till next year.

The Paralympics start on 29th August two days later I’ll be out on the streets. My parents have sold their house and like anyone of my age that’s  grown up why should I as an adult son be expected to live with them?

I have till 31st August to sort something out. I’ve tried looking online at what my rights are and it’s been extremely difficult to find that information.

Shropshire Council’s homeless website page just signposts you to SHELTER for more information. That’s why I contacted them in May for help.

Shropshire Council I know is only acting legally in that if a person is classified as priority homeless they are only legally obliged to do anything within 28 days of impending homelessness.

They told me they couldn’t do anything even thought they agreed I’d be unintentionally homeless.

It may be OK to sort out temporary accommodation for anyone who is not disabled but what about when you have access needs like me? This whole situation is lacking common sense. How can a disabled person move at the last minute?

Because I need wheelchair accessible accommodation with a walkin shower etc. I can’t just crash on a friend’s sofa till something is sorted out.

It’s not that no one would take me but that nobody could because their homes arn’t accessible. Those friends that could are too far away for me to move to and I’d then lose my personal care package.

I get Personal Care Budget from Shropshire Council under their My Life My Choice programme. I was one of the first people to receive it. Unless I know where I will be staying I can’t plan my care support.

I’m facing either a huge expense in a hotel in the middle of nowhere  at £386 a week – I’m on benefits how I’m supposed to pay for that? Granted the Council might pay for some of it, but that still leaves one hell of a finanical hole.

I can’t drive so I can’t get around other than by taxi or bus and all of the Travel Lodge’s are out of the centre of town by very busy roads and not close to shops supermarkets or laundrettes. They are hotels for guests and are not suitable for temporary accommodation.

With  no cooking or washing facilities buying breakfast and evening meals at the Travel Lodge would cost me £118 a week going by their daily rates (that doesn’t include lunch!) A care home would mean living with people who are elderly. I’m only 26.

It  means for the next six months I will have my life controlled by someone else.

It’s terrifying.

I should be planning my future with my girlfriend moving to the North West but we can’t live together until the bungalow we are moving to has been completely adapted and that takes time. Time I don’t have – not knowing where I’ll be living.

The Shropshire Council housing advisor told me they don’t have accommodation lying around for people to move into … I’m not wanting the Ritz just a roof over my head.