NOBODY’S HOME A friend of mine gave me some wise advice once. She said, “Be open about what you love and your people will find you.” Too many people are scared or ashamed to talk about what really matters to them and then they’re disappointed that nobody else seems to care. But if the past few weeks have taught me anything, it’s that being open about things really does make a difference. Since I wrote my first article here about my homeless situation, so many people have found me. I can’t believe how many total strangers have got in touch with help and suggestions and support. I’ve heard from other people in similar positions and had some incredibly touching messages of sympathy. My mum and my sister have really appreciated them too (when they’ve been suitable to pass along). If you texted or emailed me and you’re reading this, thank you. There are a lot of people in our situation. This map shows how property prices have been driving people further and further out of London. Something else I discovered in the past couple of weeks is this beautiful interactive story created by Shelter, about a family who are unable to afford their home anymore. It made me cry and, just to bring matters even closer to my heart, the woman telling the story is called Lucy. Get the Kleenex at the ready and have a read. And it might be another coincidence but there’s been some movement over at the council as well. After being on their waiting list forever, they’re finally offering a solution – not a great solution, but one we have to think about.
They’re offering us a small flat way out in the countryside. We haven’t been to check it out yet, mainly because we don’t have a car and there’s no decent public transport there. It’s more than 10 miles from the nearest town and 50 miles away from London. Gemma would have to switch schools, I’d have to leave my job, Mum would lose touch with all her friends and without a car we’d be stranded. But it’s a real flat. There are other options, though. Someone sent me a message saying that there might be a space at a prefab block of units going up on the edge of Chelmsford. They’re converting shipping containers into single-person studios. I don’t know if they could take all three of us yet, so I’ll have to investigate that. A mate of a mate from uni has moved into a shared house in Romford. She says we might all be able to fit in a couple of rooms there. I’d have to pack in my job but I might be able to get another one nearby. We’d need to find a new school for Gemma and it could be cramped but at least it gets us out of the system. Again, I’ll have to check it out. Meanwhile, I’m keeping my 3D design skills sharp and preparing something to show off at Ravensbourne in September, in case anyone fancies offering me a job. What do you reckon? After a year in this ‘temporary accommodation’ we’re all keen to move on, but do you think any of these options will be any better? Any Advice or support would be appreciated. Drop me a line.
I’d love to hear from you on LucyLooMaddox@gmail.com or text me on 01641 212031. I promise to reply!