TEMPORARY ACCOMODATION (TA) LIVED EXPERIENCES
IN THE FORM OF PICTURES, NARRATIVES AND PROJECT ART
We need your help to understand how COVID has affected families living in temporary accommodation with a child under 5. If there is something you would like to tell us about your thoughts, feelings or experiences, please send us some words, photos, songs or voice recordings and we will share them on this page. If you don't want to give your name, you can tell us the name you'd like us to use.
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"Living in the hotel was very difficult. It was really sad and tiring to stay in a neglected and unclean place. It was really difficult to live in one room with the children." - TA Resident.
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Here are quotes from Health Visitors about their experiences supporting families during the pandemic. Health Visitors are specialist nurses that help make sure that children are developing properly. Most see families from pregnancy up until the child is 5. They can help families access many services, such as food banks, children’s centres, education, housing, or other health professionals. Their work has grown exponentially during the pandemic as many were redeployed to other parts of the health system.
"It has been so difficult for families confined to tiny little rooms, with no access to the outside."
"There is a huge amount of need. Staff are exhausted. I’m exhausted. Other professionals like Social Workers and therapists have all pulled away. We have spent so much time providing for basic needs – food, clothing, digital access."
"I am so concerned with families in temporary accommodation sharing with single homeless men."
"On one occasion needed to register 15 people [with GPs], and all practices were refusing. There are no dental services. No education."
"There are whole blocks of office accommodation with families in them."
"There is no information flow. It is mostly informal notifications from staff / other families. There is lots of door knocking."
"I’ve got children who have been in temporary accommodation for 8 years."
"Specialist posts definitely need supporting. My post is basically 6 hours tacked on to my main post, and there is so much need, and constant threats of the time being taken away."
"Besides the Food Bank we have a charity run PANTRY for families. This has had 4 times the referral rate in recent months."
"Getting notifications is like getting blood from a stone. We often find families through door step visits."
"Some people even more nervous this time. These people don’t want to take their children out at all. There is a major impact on children, no exercise. Some other families are the other way though. Some people don’t have fridges (having just moved into new accommodation), and grants hard to get (processes currently even more difficult). There is no access to washing machines, and serious issues with digital poverty. Also children are clingy – some young children never in their lives have they seen people without masks on."
"Some families literally staying in their rooms 24/7. Rooms are like saunas, there is sweat dripping down the walls. Family rooms are very small."
"There is lots of distress. One resident said ‘they wouldn’t care if we lived or died’ when talking about the Home Office."
"There are no resources, not enough GP places, no school places, and foodbanks are overwhelmed."
"All services that these families were accessing at their previous addresses suddenly disconnected."
"They have to share bathrooms, washing machines. Housing is the main reason for their depression. One family said they saw a large rat going up the curtain. There is a smell of cannabis. Bathrooms left dirty. They have sent photos are sent to Council. Some are NRPF [No Recourse to Public Funds], but many work hard with more than one job."
"I had a case yesterday – the man tried to commit suicide in front of his children."
Listen to Angie Ouattara, a Focused Care Practitioner for Homeless Families with Shared Health Foundation, talk about some of the challenges that homelessness causes for families, particularly during COVID, and the role of some of the support workers involved.
Angie’s videos have links here:
Thank you for considering sharing your stories, thoughts, feelings, and experiences in the form of quotes, pictures, and audio recordings about living in temporary accommodation while experiencing homelessness with a child under 5.
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