Jeremy Corbyn Brighton and Hove Image

Why Voting For Jeremy Corbyn Will Change My Life.

I first became aware of Jeremy Corbyn last summer, I was at the height of my drug addiction, I was working and was in the middle of a nervous breakdown. I remember I was staying with some friends who were good enough to put me up during such a traumatic, painful and lonely time.

I Saw This Speech

My addiction was not a choice, I was raised in Whitehawk, one of the most deprived areas of the country, yet a place which I remember fondly because I felt safe because we had a community, the only ones who failed us the community was poor governement.

I was raised in a council house, my mother raised us and my dad worked when he could, we couldn’t afford the private rents they have today, yes I had a breakdown, but I was in many ways lucky to have had much of the upbringing I had.

When I got clean, which was in some part because Jeremy’s Message echoed my thought, I was fed up with seeing people dying of war, I was tired of always being skint, I was tired of my life, so I joined the Labour Party.

How Have I Found It?

After I became homeless and finally diagnosed with Bipolar and PTSD, I started attending meetings, I found them to be quite interesting, I’ve never spoken before in front of people, but felt a huge urge to get up and educate people on what it is really like to become homeless, living in substandard accommodation and fighting daily to get will again and stay off drugs.

 

Some of the social media groups locally can be hostile, but i’ve found members in person to be nice, i’ve many some amazing new friends and no longer hang in the same circles as before.

After launching my own campaign to highlight the real Homeless Hotels From Hell, I decided to set up a residents association for those living in Emergency and Temporary Accommodation, which is a first I am told and even succeeded in putting Emergency Accommodation back on the political agenda with some potential great changes, proposed by myself and signed by over 1600 people in a petition.

I have helped in my ward and volunteered to help get  a friend elected as councillor.

I’ve met and in fact spoken at an event with Jeremy and John in the audience, I felt like for the first time ever I was being listened to.

I Got Elected On To The Executive Committee

I have always spoken from the heart and have found that when I do speak people seem to react really positively, for someone like me who has often doubted themselves from things of the past, I was energised to stand as a lay member on the infamous EC.

I got elected and the rest is well, complicated…..

Nonetheless I’ve since on a few occasions met Jeremy at events and canvassing, you really can get the measure of someone by meeting their families, I found Jeremy’s wife to be adorable and caring, you can see the love and fear and his son’s, they we’re also pleasant.

Kind of like the family I never had, but I have realised that, now I am apart of a new family, one, I feel accepted, empowered and reformed, my vote and your votes are for people like me, people who are needing a little investment to transform ourselves and in return we help others.

And The Future….?

It starts on the 24th September, in Liverpool the home of the exonerated, a city of dreams.

If you are still undecided don’t let the mainstream media cloud your judgement, I am not letting it cloud mine, and it will be Jeremy Corbyn I put my cross next too.

He is promising 500,000 Council homes, something I desperately need, the mental health polices and nationalisation, means my life and our lives will improve.

The futures bright.

 

Inspirational Messages Of Support For Local LGBT Campainer

Having recently faced some massive challenges I can confirm that I have now successfully managed to renegotiate my eviction, having gone in desperation to Brighton and Hove City Council a few days ago with various advocates and a social worker challenging the decision the council offered me a place in Newhaven.

In January when the council provided me with a duty of care and in priority need it was decided that I should be placed in Brighton and Hove, due to my mental health and support needs, since then I have officially been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and complex PTSD, However the council had decided that this means I can live outside Brighton and Hove.

On the table was one offer and I had to accept this or reject, they warned me if I rejected I would lose my duty of care and priority need and be seen as intentionally homeless, I think its disgusting someone with my mental health needs was provided with this option and feel that I was being victimised, my advocates were shocked at this treatment.

I decided to create a third option, I contacted percival terrace management and asked for them to reverse their decision to evict me, the manager said I could stay that night and the next day have a 121 meeting with the director, so I accepted this and happily walked away from the council who not only benefited from me being out of Brighton and Hove and off their doorstep, but that I would have had to have gone through another Suitability Review process in Newhaven lasting 24 weeks.

My current review period end next week, so I made a decision based on my needs, whilst all emergency accommodation is unsuitable for me, 1 week is better than 24 and I get to stay in Brighton and Hove.

What Did The Helgor Director Say

Firstly she made it clear that ‘I had made my point’ we had a very friendly and open meeting in which I learned a little about her personally and how she feels about the Emergency Accommodation. Angelique advised that in a previous blog I had written in which showed pictures of dead pigeons and near a water tank in the building and the video showing sewage were an old issue and didn’t represent the current circumstances.

Just the night before we came together to set up the Emergency and Temporary Housing Residents Action Group, which had two staff from Percival Terrace in attendance with councillors, a journalist, lead people in other local campaigns and of course residents, It was a great success and now we have an established residents association.

The director commented that it was a good idea and went on to confirm that as a landlord they cannot support the complicated needs of the residents and thats why ETHRAG would be a good idea to be able to help cater for our own needs. She also agreed to regular meetings in which I can feedback residents concerns and make suggestions for improvement.

Helgor Emergency Housing Properties in Brighton and Hove to be Brought up to Standard With A Large Redevelopment,  Maintenance Repair Schedule Ahead

We can look forward to an overhaul of every Room at Percival Terrace, they are replacing the roofs, the properties are listed which means means they can be harder to keep in good conditions. The Heating and Water Systems will be looked into and the includes replacing the radiators in each room, Mini Ovens will be placed in each room where families  are living, I would personally live to see all rooms with these ovens.

Security will be raised to help lower crimes and keep residents safer, I have asked for rooms to have peep holes on each door, there will also better better trained staff.

We have now opened up to talks and I am feeling positive about the initial improvements, but we must remain focused to continue working for more holistic approaches to recovery, safeguarding guidelines in place for the most vulnerable  and a plan for coop housing offering more that what we currently have in terms of rehabilitations, integration and hope.

I got nominated for a National Diversity Award for LGBT Role Model.

I am feeling to humbled after reading the anonymous votes and endorsements for my nomination, I truly feel blessed, I honestly do what I do for change and I really care about Housing, Mental Health, Care Leavers and Young People and LGBT issues.

These messages really help to keep me staying active and pushing for change, if you haven’t already done so, you can still nominate me up until 20th June 2016 by going to the National Diversity Awards Website.

Here are some of the kind words so far

– “no one deserves this more than Daniel, although he haas his own demons he is just so focused on helping everyone who is vulnerable…..he’s a star!!”

– “I have not met Daniel in person but we have chatted many a time on the care leavers site. He always has a positive word to inspire me an others to keep going an fighting. An that despite our start in life we can move forward. “

– “Very enthusiastic and supportive individual who will do anything to help those in need. He’s proud of who he is an proud of the LGBT community and speaks up for all!!”

– “He’s a good friend of mine and he deserves a lot”

 – “I don’t know Daniel personally but my boyfriend is very fond of him and of what I have heard I can say his story is very inspiring”

– “I know Daniel as a very inspiring person who has been through so much, yet is still going impressively strong “

 – “I have only just recently met Daniel, but his determination to see that life gets better, not just for himself, but for everyone in his situation is outstanding. He puts others before himself, is a great orator and is determined and creative.Whether it is determination to make a council fulfil their obligations to those in need of care, challenging the stigma of Bi-polar disorder or making sure kids have a voice, he brings all situations to the forefront, showing that while he may be suffering himself, he will go all out to make sure others don’t have to.”

– “Inspiring and focused! Driven to help others that are in bad situations! Beating the odds! “

– “I have seen Daniels progress over the last couple of months. He has really grown as a person and it’s amazing the amount of backup he’s getting. He deserves this as I think he’s an amazing role model for young people, after everything he’s been through, he’s still come out on top. “

– “He has shown how to learn from experience and to convert anger and despair into an effective fight for social justice I am a community activist in Brighton involved in campaigning and working with those who require advocacy to achieve their basic rights”

 – “Is such an inspiration “

– “Daniel is a dynamic and relentless campaigner who has highlighted and excellently communicated issues around care leavers, mental health issues and the state of emergency housing for vulnerable people. He has consistently campaigned while facing his own personal difficulties, including homelessness. “

– “Daniel has found strength to use his personal experience to help others, to raise awareness and to help himself. He is self-motivated, focused and positive. Daniel is a real pleasure to be with, he shares his thoughts and feelings in a positive way, is open about his experiences and supportive of others. “

– “Daniel has put a spotlight on how poorly the City of Brighton and Hove extends a duty of care to the most vulnerable in the City who are homeless and in need of help.”

 – “I vote for this man because he has a great idea to help people. I have known some cases in my country of sexual abused but I have no idea how to help them. Also, I support LGBT should be treated right. Not so many people accept this as my friends who are in this group feel bad when they cant get the job as they want, cant have a true love. I vote for him because he is trying ro help people. He has idea to support people while i cant do anything for them so i have no reason not to vote for this tough man! “

– “I grew up in care and I totally support Daniels stance and what he is trying to do . Its not easy to stand up in that situation . you are so made to feel undeserving and its easy to become isolated from society and feel forgotten . Its massively damaging to our struggling communities . Which are almost all we have .”

– “Daniel, who I met a few years ago, is one of those people that you can take to quiet easily as he takes an interest in people from all walks of life. He is currently trying to overcome many obstacles on his personal journey, with his own added demons to contend with, but through all this he finds the courage and strength to fight for other people in similar situations. This man has a vision and passion to fight the injustice he sees in homelessness with the added mental health issues that often go hand in hand, this has sadly also been a part of his own life. The last time I saw him was at a recent family gathering. I made a point of going up to him even though I don’t really know him that well and praising his efforts, encouraging him to carry on his cause. I also follow him on social media. The reason why I am nominating this young man is, I was one of those people who was in a bad situation in poor housing conditions. I remember a time where I felt desperate, lonely, and unable to see any future, also with very little support. My former partner suffered from severe mental health problems. I would like Daniel Harris to be recognised in the tireless and often blinded campaign that he is trying to raise awareness. Thank you for taking the time to read this and good luck Daniel.”

– “Daniel is a much needed person in our society today as an advisor for children in care. He should be listened to and given the highest accolade for sheer determination against all odds, particularly where he is being harassed by the local authority as he exposes the lack if justice, the corruption, the courage of Daniel is so admired by others. He is truly a role model for everyone as a survivor of so many issues, constantly looking to raise the bar. His voice matters. “

– “Daniel seeks to turn his situation into a positive one with constructive solutions. I salute him for his inspirational example. “

– “Amazing man who has been through a lot and has come out fighting and shown others that strength and determination can get you through anything . “

– “Daniel is an inspiration person that shows how struggles (his own many times) can be converted into strength at the same time that makes strangers understand what someone can be suffering when dealing with homelessness, Social Services and other barriers to self-actualisation. “

– “In the face of adversity, Daniel has bravely put his head above the parapet in the call to change.He is lovely and open, thoughtful and caring.His energy is amazing.”

– “Daniel has done remarkable work raising awareness of homelessness and the effects it has on peoples lives, especially the LGBT community”

– “He Truly Deserves The Nomination ,His life is far from being Plain sailing Yet He Still Puts Everyone Before Himself He’s An Earth Angel .”

– “He is passionate, dynamic and committed to making a difference. Open to learning and growing with his experiences. He will help create change and make a difference.”

– “A truly inspirational young man”

– “I have met Daniel on a few occasions and I can truly say what a lovely and genuine person he is. I have read about Daniel’s troubles and I have the upmost amour of respect and admiration for him and for all he has been through, he fully deserves the award!”

– “Daniel has clearly endured a significant amount of misfortune and hardship in his own personal life. Despite this, and effectively from the streets, he has been fighting a highly visible campaign to highlight the issues faced by homeless LGBT people in Brighton and to bring about meaningful change. This has included collating statistics highlighting the seemingly less favourable treatment of LGBT applicants for homelessness assistance from Brighton City Council and lobbying the Council for change. Most people who have experienced the misfortune that Daniel has in his life would just give up. Daniel has chosen instead to fight and in doing so is a positive role model for our community and is well deserving of an award – which I have no doubt that he would use to further his campaign for justice.”

– “Amazing man who has been through a lot and has come out fighting and shown others that strength and determination can get you through anything . “

“He is doing something he believe in and a credit to others carry on with g he good work Daniel x “

– “i find Daniel’s quest for dignity, in the face of ingrained resistance from very inadequately funded public services, resulting in providing a very poor service, quite inspiring. i send him all my best wishes and a deserved success with his campaigning. i hope his campaign will inspire other people, both in Brighton and the rest of the country, who experience similar treatment from public services, to join forces to challenge the appallingly oppressive and person devaluing political ideology, we are all currently subjected to. “

– “I’ve come across Daniel at LGBT Community Safety Forum meetings in Brighton and on various internet forums. He is a tireless campaigner and a voice for vulnerable young LGBT people in the city. He has been particularly effective challenging the city council’s appalling lack of emergency housing provision. He fully deserves to receive this award. “

– “He’s has tirelessly and fearlessly championed the marginalisation of LGBT etc people in housing and homelessness, which is a major issue for many.”

– “Reading Daniel Harris’s story is inspirational.I believe he deserves this award for all his positivity and energy he is investing in others. It is incredibly hard to deal with trauma but he has managed to turn it into something positive and motivational for himself. I believe this will not only benefit him but all who he shines upon.. My name is Alexandra my mother comes from a abusive background and I believe we need to encourage, support and love people who are prepared to help themselves in life x “

– “Because he is an inspiration truthful and cares for everyone xxx”

– “Careless campaigner for justice when all others would just walk on by”

– “Daniels spirit and determination to better himself and his community is truly commendable and I wish you all the best.”

– “Daniel’s work on uncovering the corruption and unscrupulous dealings of private landlords in the emergency housing sector has been amazing, and his whole life story and the way he’s campaigned for other people to have a better chance in life is just so inspiring.”

What can I say other than WOW and Thank YOU so much!!! 🙂

 

My Shame, Your Shame, Everyone's Shame Image

My Shame, Your Shame, Everyone’s Shame

Session 8 focused on Emotions & Trauma

I’ve been taking part in a Ten weekly group therapy course for men who have suffered sexual and/or physical abuse,  in session eight we examined the relationships between trauma and emotions. In particular, we looked at anger and shame; loss, forgiveness, and letting go; and emotions and the brain.

This quote come up which got me thinking…

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest achievement.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Shame Pose Daniel Harris Image
My shame was put on me by others

Watch this clip of Dr. Brené Brown who talks to Oprah Winfrey about Shame.

My Shame

Secrecy, Silence and Judgement

Firstly the fact that I am writing about shame today is proof to the fact that I am going through a process of weakening my shame. I am a survivor,  I was sexually assaulted as a child and had my innocence robbed, I was manipulated into Secrecy, Silence and faced Judgement from the age of 4, today at the age of 32 I start the process of melting my shame away.

“Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging”. – Dr. Brené Brown

Thankfully I am learning that;

Healthy Shame is necessary to survival as it tells us that something is wrong about an experience or behaviour, that Shame acts as a prompt to seek help.

I am learning that Healthy Shame also guides our behaviours so that we do not hurt others,  its not about you deserving what happened, it’s about my abuser planning, grooming and abusing me – the responsibility lies solely with him and nobody else.

This doesn’t stop me feeling shame, i’m looking forward to the day when i am stable in a home so I can start one to one sessions focusing on the shame that I feel every day which is;

  • I’m not good enough
  • Why didn’t I make people listen
  • My appearance and sexuality
  • Why me? Why didn’t I fightback?
  • How people think of me, do they think I will be an abuser one day?
  • I feel shame that I struggle to show emotion.
  • I feel shame that I have to suffer in silence

My shame lead to me actually getting help, I was sofa surfing for three years, after a mental health breakdown, I became addicted to drugs, then one day I walked into my room, looked around at all the drugs and mess and broke down. It was that day after I recovered that I got the help I needed, I was suffering this shame in silence, scared of judgement.

I kept my addiction secret from friends and family, work and colleagues, I literally had that addiction put on me, it wasn’t the event that got me addicted, it was the shame, It swallowed me up into a dark abyss. I did find the light!

Your Shame

My therapy teaches me that In abusing me the shame lies solely with my abuser, however because my abuser was not connected to their shame, I had no choice but to take on the shame he should have felt.

I will update this section when I learn more.

Everyones Shame

I do believe as a society we need to take a long hard look at ourselves and start talking more about shame, admitting the historic abuse that has happened, for too long families, churches, schools, care homes, people and society have brushed child sexual abuse under the carpet.

I am proof that with the right early intervention we can educate, rehabilitate and counsel previously looked after kids in society, we need to give them hope for the future and not sit in judgement which helps to keep the shame hidden.

There are millions of people in this country who have been sexually abused, its happening right now, it happened all throughout our past, but we can help to stop this in the future, If we talk about these issues slowly but surely we can start bringing the abusers to justice and help the abused, like me and you too move on.

As a society we need to ask ourselves is it right that someone who was sexually abused as an innocent child like me who is now 32 and living in Emergency Accommodation, Its a prison sentence this, and I am in this position because society wont talk about shame.

Shame on you for not taking the fight to the government to change opinions and prospects for people like me, shame on you for voting for a government who are putting more interest into taking the kids away, when they should be tackling the wider issue, and shame on you for paying you hard earned money toward an unfair emergency housing situation whereby my future is in the hands of a private limited company making millions from the tax you pay.

 

Another Shame Pose
This is the shame I feel

An Adult Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse?

If you are an adult who can access Brighton and Hove, we are lucky enough to have a charity located in the city which provided counselling and therapy groups, I’ve found Mankind’s Counselling Service invaluable. Check out Mankind’s Counselling website for more information on their services.

Worried about a child?

If you are a child or your have concerns for a child’s safety then I would recommend you contact the NSPCC NSPCC for assistance, don’t let innocent kids suffer in silence anymore, early intervention is key to giving the abused hope and healing.

Remember there is no shame in telling.

 

 

Homeless and Bored

Brighton and Hove A City of Hope, Dreams and Desperation

I became homeless again in Jan 2016

Tired
Me tired but alive Having recently went to the full council whereby I presented a petition signed by over 1500 people, detailing the conditions I have to live in. I am in Emergency Housing, My Landlord Helgor Trading Limited – Own two further properties housing the homeless and vulnerable, in total I make this 130 rooms.

Now in the council presentation and the following debate if you haven’t already seen the video you can watch here, the council acknowledged my statement, some councillors even come up to me after and told me how brave I was to come forward, I was told the council officers were looking into my case and I will hear back.

I also set out a plan to improve the standards in emergency accommodation, the initial room they put me in, room 24, was not previously inspected, it hadn’t been cleaned and showed signs of drugs use. I still have the previous occupants diary left under the mattress. I was provided a tiny room, no bed covers, a microwave and they said it was suitable, I saw another door kicked in downstairs and panicked.

I then in manic mode took my belongings and put them in Bishops Move, It costs me £81 per month to store my belongings. I get £74 a week to live on from ESA, with bills including the £50 service charge at Percival Terrace  to pay before I even feed myself I am left with £64 a month or about £2.30 to live off, could you live of that?

The stuff in storage by the way is going to be destroyed or sold because i haven’t been able to afford to pay this, I owe £161, the council have a duty under the housing act to ensure my belongings are not destroyed, they deny this knowledge because I arranged the storage myself. The council office was closed, I was given no advice and they failed to hand over correctly, The council say its affordable if its affordable why am I losing my property.

Check out this video which gives you an understanding on how this is continuing to effect me.


Posted by Daniel Harris on Saturday, 9 April 2016

I am not looking for pity, I am exposing the truth.

My History

Find out more about Daniel Harris

Revelation number 1

On the 16th December at 10:49 am 12 days away from being street homeless and facing eviction I spoke to a housing options manager, yes i was in a manic state, they hadn’t even looked at my homelessness application and proceeded to say point out that i wasn’t the only one on the list, and rolled out figures like bumbling politician. I had made him aware that just the week before I had a panic attack well, four in one hour after meeting him and seeing the officer who turned me away in 2012, unlawfully. and that I had to be hospitalised, however he was rude to me and treated me like a fool. I filed an instant complaint with Brighton and Hove City Council which was never followed up.

To my amazement the same member of staff I complained about was the decision maker for the suitability review on the property I live in, the same one with the waterfall windows.

They decided on 8 weeks 1 day the property is suitable, I am not going to go into my circumstances but i assure you it is absolutely not suitable and as the council have a duty of care they are required by law to ensure a property is suitable and make a decision on the evidence I have provided, the housing options manager failed to acknowledge half of the reasons and for this and the fact he is subject to an official complaint by me means the council have failed to provide a suitable responce withint he 8 week time limit as discloded in the housing act 1966.

I am looking for someone who can see the human side to this story

I need help to stand up and fight for my rights. Feel free to check out my linkedin public profile after having to leave my last role due to ill health, I am disgusted I am or anyone is expected to live in these conditions.

I am an intelligent person, I can speak well when I am not manic or in a depressive period, I would welcome press interviews, tv or radio interviews or any way to expose this wrong doing and help changes peoples lives for the better.

If you want to interview me or have any comments please email them to daniel@survivorblog.co.uk

Revelation number 2 – Another Death

I have been informed that a vulnerable resident here at Pervical Terrace was found dead (suicide) last week, I don’t know anymore information and will update the blog when I have it, however for someone like me to break this news and the local media ignoring this issue shows their is something wrong here. How many more people have to die in these conditions?

Revelation Number 3 – Images from a Baron Homes property for those in emergency housing.

Thanks to another source I have here are some images, if you want to use these images you are required to ask me first for permission to use, you are welcome to share this blog on social media to highlight this issue locally.

I urgently need help from a lawyer to get justice for this, if you are a journalist or a researcher for a documentary Brighton’s Housing Mess and the individual stories linked need to been seen and heard to evoke change.

Again if you want to get in touch email me daniel@survivorblog.co.uk.

I look forward now to my next petition, make sure you subscribe to this blog for more updates or add me on Facebook.