Clare from Salvation Army just left. I swear I am currently existing off these weekly morale boosts. What has boosted my morale was not any good news in particular, merely the feeling of being understood:
- Clare’s been contacting more landlords and letting agents, but hitting the expected brick wall of everything being ‘means-tested’ and not allowing people who are receiving benefits to rent.
- In her weekly meeting with the Council (which Salvation Army do), the Council actually had the nerve to ask if I could try a Launchpad application again! Clare restated what Launchpad’s response was after my 2nd application with them, then described to me how the Council really struggled to understand Launchpad’s feedback (‘vulnerable’ but ‘too vulnerable’). Clare told me how she really stood up for me and told them no way that I could handle that rejection by applying again 😂.
- Clare told me how a particular person at the council was obviously very frustrated on my behalf. The Council have been working with me for almost 3 years now in total. There’s been many hundreds of emails sent back and forth, all stemming from my lack of suitable accommodation and rejection from various support services.
- Clare told me that now that she’s ‘lived in my shoes’ for some time, and she’s seen my level of proactivity, how much I’m trying yet remaining calm, and how I just get referred confidently from one service to another, rejected, then they struggle to comprehend what I report back…for example not just Launchpad but “Is he getting PIP?”, “Why isn’t he getting PIP?”, “Is he doing talking therapies?”, “Has he got his diagnoses on the NHS?”…she now understands how I am in my situation, and my frustration.
Thank god that Clare has the necessary sense of indignation on my behalf and the wherewithal to be able to comprehend it and to explain it back to others…
I have a telephone appointment with the council’s Homelessness Prevention Service tomorrow. It was supposed to be yesterday but they assigned me twice by mistake. I’m assured by the feedback Clare’s been giving them that they must surely now recognise that it truly is down to them to house me or else. Wow.
Clare understands that you’re expected to appear a certain way when vulnerable and I don’t fit that mold at all, because I’m not going crazy with worry. Well…I told her I’ve been living this way for five years. I can sit there laughing at Clare’s revelations today because somebody else is getting to experience what I’m experiencing for once. Also OCD is my biggest enemy, and the only way is fatalism. It’s society’s loss if they don’t help me, take it or leave it.
You could say I’m probably a ‘purist empath’, where I value myself less than my ability to do positive things for others. It’s not necessarily a virtue to take things so much to the extreme (or a virtue at all, it just ‘is’). I’m willing to be a martyr, at least in principle. I’m willing to be the example that illuminates the wider problem. There’s no fear in that. (I’m a ‘Campaigner’ personality type 😆).