Here are details of some of our current cases.
Many of us have traditionally been of the view that homelessness affects a certain type of person or indeed arises as a result of certain factors or circumstances. Working in MLRC we regularly find that the traditional stereotypes are far from factual reality. In many instances lack of timely interventions give rise to serious consequences for vulnerable individuals which lead to homelessness.
During the course of this week we have assisted the following very vulnerable people who have or have previously had an interest in property and who do not have any underlying mental health and or addiction issues.
- Middle aged gentleman, sleeping rough since March 2012, hospitalised, unable to get rent assistance as had sold a property in the 1980’s and was not in a position to furnish evidence as to how he spent the €20,000 he received.
- Young mother with two infant children, 22 months and 6 months old. Both children with medical needs. Sleeping on friends sofas. No social welfare for youngest child or medical card as no addresses. Assessed as not in need of housing as owning property with parents and on mortgage. Mortgage company refusing to release her from title/mortgage. Father registered sex offender.
- Lady aged 64 years currently in emergency homeless hostel. Separated from ex-spouse sold property. Received entitlement from sale. Disability payments stopped. Living with partner. Refusal to allow on rent with partner as had means. Partner passes away and local authority force her to move from home and into homeless accommodation as not on rent. In intervening period all funds utilised to meet ordinary living and medical expenses.
It was not necessary to issue proceedings or provide detailed submissions as in each instance the matters would be resolved within days of MLRC involvement. Local Authorities indicated that resolution was by the provision of either sworn documents stating that they had no assets or property or an undertaking that in the event that funds were received from the sale of the property that a contribution would be made towards the local authority.
The gentleman was sleeping rough for 7 months, the young girl was couch surfing with two infants and baby sleeping in a buggy for 6 months and the elderly lady was forced to leave her home following bereavement and live in an emergency shelter.
Three different Local Authorities were involved. Referrals were received from a Hostel key-worker, hospital social worker and a local authority porter. In each of these 3 cases timely intervention would have eliminated unnecessary distress and hardship for these vulnerable people. How many other people are been treated in a similar fashion when they don’t neatly tick the administrators boxes?
More information on the work of MLRC is available on the website at www.mercylaw.ie.
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