My Shame, Your Shame, Everyone's Shame Image

I, Daniel Harris – How Injustice and Homelessness Made Me An Activist

How I Became Homeless In Brighton & Hove

In May 2015 on a typical sunny day in Brighton and Hove, I came face to face with the man who 26 years before sexual abused, groomed and took away my innocence, this changed my life forever!

I remember literally turning back into a six year old at that point, I became angry for the first time which led me into a downward spiral which ultimately led to me becoming addicted to drugs and then homeless and unemployed.

Faced with a choice between a future stuck in the past with street homelessness I decided to fight back, anyone who has ever suffered exploitation will know that ultimately the only people who can change our lives are ourselves.

Left with the choice between living with other people with drug issues and street homelessness I decided to present myself to Brighton & Hove City Council.

How To Kick Someone When They Are Down

In order to change I asked myself these questions: At the age of 33, could I continue living this way? Did I want the past to define my future? was I happy? could I continue lying to family and friends? would I be strong enough to beat the addiction?

I didn’t have the answers because I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder & Bipolar, although I didn’t know this at the time, anyone who has this will understand that we are either one extreme or the other.

When I went into the council offices on Bartholomew Square, I was still battling the addiction and trying hard to break the cycle of  drug use. I will not write here and say I was clean because I wasn’t, however my usage changed and ultimately my way of thinking changed more.

 

I came face to face with the civil servant from hell, you know the types, the ones who have had the same job for over 20 years, the people who are happy to sell there soul to the devil and ultimately traded empathy and compassion for emptiness and authority.

Believe it or not, I was sofa surfing for 4 years after I left a voilent relationship, now I am not a victim I am a survivor, we should be helping people turn there lives around, not fail to prevent homelessness.

I was asked a series of questions, Why are you Homeless? Why cant you rent private accommodation? can’t you move back home? etc etc..

She looked at me like I was a piece of dirt, I had to tell this woman whom I had never met before my reasons for becoming homeless and guess what, she said “There is nothing I can do, you don’t meet the criteria for homelessness accommodation”.

I call some of these people Gatekeepers, essentially if they like you then they help you, if you question them in the slightest, they close the door and throw away the key.

So I was told I was not vulnerable enough for secure housing, so I want to live with 4 people in a 1 bedroom flat, all of whom had drug problems.

How I fought Back Against A System Designed To Demoralise People

I remember it was the 28th December, I had the worst Christmas in my life, no tree, no family and no festive spirit, unless of course you include a bottle of vodka. In my heart of hearts I know she was wrong, how could living with people with drug problems be better than homeless accommodation?

Ok so in my mind I thought the homeless accommodation would be small but nice, it is after all 2016, I went to get some legal advice from Brighton Housing Trust and initially they were not much better, more smiles that the front line council staff, but then they are making loads money from the legal aid I was awarded.

The first time they took me seriously was when I took along an advocate, the charity was called Mind Out, a specific charity to help LGBT people with Mental Health issues, for the first time they took my needs into account and helped me, albeit quite sloppy and slow.

On the 28th January I finally got the homelessness decision overturned in an appeal, at a cost to the tax payer I never wanted and serious risk to my health, I lost 12kg in weight and my dignity all because someone felt they were more important than a human in need.

What Was My Reward?

  • Emergency AccommodationPercival Terrace. A room so small you could touch both walls with your arms wide open, no bedding, a microwave, signs of drug usage on the mattress, urine up the walls and a ceiling about to cave in. Cost to the tax payer £800, who gets this money? A tax evading private limited company called Helgor Trading Limited.
  • Isolation – There is a no visitor rule.
  • Depression – How would be happy living in those conditions?
  • Victimised – the more I complained the more Brighton and Hove City Council staff treated me unfairly, they spoke to me like I was 6 years old, they even arrived at Percival Terrace trying to convince other vulnerable people to write a statement to get me evicted.
  • I got Evicted, 3 times and stopped them all.
  • Breach of Data Protection – Staff at Brighton and Hove City Council, used an incident when I was 12 years old against me in a housing decision 21 years later.
  • Being spied upon – Brighton and Hove City Council Staff trawl through my social media accounts and this blog daily, how sad!
  • Intimidation – I get security staff contracted out by the council following me when I enter public buildings, even waiting outside when I went to the toilet. Listen to my call to the company when I challenge this treatment
  • Lies – Senior management have lied to me on purpose.
  • Blacklisted – I have been placed on a blacklist by Brighton and Hove City Council.
  • Discrimination – I was never advised there was a specific worker who works with LGBT people, I only found out about this role when I did a subject Access request and saw notes and internal emails on my files in which senior managers refused me access to this service.
  • Relapse – I relapsed in June 2016 after all of the above, I simply had enough of the treatment I had received and lost all hope in humanity after a specific staff member waged a war words against me, even questioning my historic sexual abuse, the nature of the injuries I sustained when I was in a voilent relationship and became and when he ignored a social services report and a report from a registered psychiatrist.

What did I do to deserve this treatment? sadly because I challenged the status quo, tackled the living conditions of the vulnerable, highlighted an unethical housing system designed to benefit the wealthy few and many of whom are evading tax. Simply for being a kind, brave and decent human being. #Madness

So What Really Saved Me?

When I saw the room at percival terrace I instantly spoke out and launched a petition to try and improve the system and other peoples lives, I was finally diagnosed with Bipolar and PTSD after 26 years, and finally spoke out and pursued the historic sexual abuse.

I got Clean, I became an activist and even founded the first residents association in the UK specifically focused on those living in Temporary and Emergency Accommodation.

I’ve just completed 48 weeks of specific therapy for men who were sexually abused, I’ve campaigned to raise awareness around Care Leavers, Mental Health, Social Justice, LGBT Rights, Domestic Violence, Drug Addictions and of course Housing. You can find some of the things i’ve achieved here.

Today I live day by day, I am now living in Temporary Accommodation and fight daily to improve peoples lives, I am not fully recovered and some days its hard to even get out of bed, others I am never in it.

But I am much more educated and I can tell you now that the only solution for a better future is for people like you reading this blog post now, to stand up, speak out and help to chance our society.

I am Daniel Blake, You are Daniel Blake, Our Friends & Family are Daniel Blake. If you haven’t seen it yet, get along to the cinema to catch a glimpse of what is really happening in society today.

And the future?

The Future is the Present, Focus on the Here and Now!

 

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!!! 🙂

 

Homophobic Attacks In Brighton & Hove: A Different Perspective

Proof That Homosexuals Are Considerably More Vulnerable Than The Ordinary Person

In a recent blog post I discussed the Equal Opportunities Freedom of Information Request which showed that Gay Men have the lowest homelessness accept percentage of any minority group.

Following the recent alleged homophobic attack of Dain Luka and James Floz Loxton pictured below, I want to call on Brighton and Hove’s Councillors to ensure that LGBT Homelessness Applicants are provided a duty of care and priority need under section 193 of the housing act.

Last year three men were sentenced for a vicious attack in which a victim was smashed over the head several times with glass bottles, leaving permanent scaring. This latest attack is one of a number of homophobic attacks in the city, this has to stop!

The two latest victims were on there way home after a night out, they were stopped and assaulted outside the Queens Hotel, one of the victims claimed he was brutally kicked in the face on a number of occasions leaving him unable to see.

Why are Brighton and Hove City Council Not Preventing Homelessness for Vulnerable LGBT Applicants

We know that LGBT folk are more vulnerable on the streets yet in the recent freedom of information request the council have failed to prioritise LGBT Applicants. I was failed back in December 2015 / January 2016, I had to appeal the decision that the council made not to house me and at a time when I am in recovery.

What needs to change

Firstly I would like to see the LGBT Community coming together as one, whilst Pride has always been political I think this year we as a community need to focus on ourselves, we need to highlight the wrongdoings and lead the demonstration for social justice.

Secondly as I have said on many occasions we need a Central LGBT Hub, located close to the heart of the village, they have one in Birmingham, London and Manchester why not here in  Brighton?

Thirdly the LGBT Community need to start lobbying the cities councillors and MP’s, we need to stand up for our rights, our gay rights!!

Finally, Bring back Pub watch, the Kemptown focused security system, better communication could prevent such incidents in the future.

I hope the two young lads recover mentally and physically, having been a victim of hate crime myself, I know how these two brave souls will be feeling, as a community we should not stand by anymore and allow such acts or wrongdoings.


A Way To Stay Safe – Self Defence Classes

My friends the Brighton and Hove LGBT Community Safety Forum have a free Self Defence Class on the 20th May 2016 from 2pm – 4pm. Here are the details:

Hosted by the Brighton & Hove LGBT Community Safety Forum.
This session will re-introduce the principles of self-defence, including how to keep safe without using any physical techniques.

We will also discuss and practice some techniques to increase your confidence and help you distract or escape a potential attacker.

In this session we will adapt the techniques to suit differing physical abilities.

This is not a session in martial arts.

Refreshments provided.

Fee £3 per person
Remaining costs subsidised by a grant from the Rainbow Fund

Only 18 spaces available. To book your place please email training@lgbt-help.com

Pease contact us if you have any access requirements by email training@lgbt-help.com or by calling 01273 855620 and selecting option 4

Please be safe and alert when out and about.

Daniel

Are Homeless Homosexuals In Brighton and Hove Being Discriminated Against?

In October 2015, I was given notice to leave the home I had been living in for a year, I had been essentially sofa surfing since 2012. I had support from MindOut an LGBT Advocacy Charity In Brighton and Hove, I had support from Pavilions a drug counselling service and Mankind who are probably the only charity offering support for males who have been sexually abused.

How did Brighton and Hove City Council fail to prevent my homelessness?

Being a previously looked after child I was under the care of social services since the age of two years old, my family were considered vulnerable due to both my parents being previously looked after children, following a mental health breakdown I again went to the local authority for help to prevent me becoming street homeless.

When I completed the homelessness application form, I ensured that I made the council fully aware of my vulnerabilities and provided ample evidence to support my application, their was a recent supreme court ruling which stated that;

The court said councils assessing the needs of single homeless people should compare them with an “ordinary person” rather than another homeless person.

In my case I had a one to one meeting with a housing options advisor who kept stating that I needed to prove I was more vulnerable than the ‘average homeless person’ which used to be the “vulnerability test” local authorities measured vulnerability on, needless to say, the advisor failed to prevent my homelessness because she judged me on the old rules and n my opinion took the wrong decision.

I had to get legal advice because by failing to prevent my homelessness, I was forced to live in a 1 bedroomed flat, which was occupied by four other people, making me person number five.

In a review, a more senior member of staff quickly overturned the decision and accepted me as vulnerable and in priority need, I was offered a section 193 duty to house and placed into emergency accommodation.

A Freedom Of Information Request Shows Homosexuals Have The Lowest Percentage Of Homelessness Accepts Of Any Minority Group.

Table of Equal Opportunities Data for Homelessness
Just 23% of all Gay Homelessness Applications from 2013 -2015 were accepted, compared to 37% accepted for heterosexuals.

Download the full PDF data here: minority_report_homelessness

My argument for Brighton and Hove is this, Why do other major LGBT communities have specific supported accommodation for the LGBT minority groups, yet Brighton and Hove have nothing?

I think this is a disgrace and something the LGBT community must unite and fightback against, we know that statistically serial killers mostly target Women and gay men, yet the council feel that only 23% of gay men are vulnerable and accepted them as homeless?

The councils homelessness strategy states the following;

Our Priority Groups and Issues:

Rough Sleepers, Welfare Reform, Military Veterans & Serving Personnel, Discharge from hospital and other care settings, Young people 16 – 25, Accessing Health Services, People with Learning Disabilities & Autism People living in Supported accommodation, People with Physical and Sensory Disability, People living in Temporary Accommodation, LGBT Community, BME Community, People with Substance Misuse issues, Violence against Women & Girls. Domestic Violence, People with Mental Health Offenders, People who need housing and floating support, People who need support with Work and Learning.

In the Next Brighton and Hove LGBT Safety Forum

I want us as a community to come together and fight this discrimination, we should lay out plans for more priority, many vulnerable LGBT people who face homelessness have other vulnerabilities which are going unnoticed.

We need to push for more emergency accommodation for the LGBT community, ones which ensure members of our LGBT Community are able to feel safe. Even in 2016 we still have homophobia, transphobia, violent attacks against our community and they the council decide to only accept 23% for homelessness applications.

I’ve heard of a specific case which is absolutely disgusting, why LGBT charities aren’t lobbying for more action? why is a transgendered refugee who has fled Iraq due to the prejudice and fear for her life, being victimised, harassed and kicked out of her emergency accommodation when we should be keeping her safe.

If you are LGBT? Have you faced homelessness in the last 5 years in Brighton and Hove? Do you have a story you want to tell? Did the council fail you?

Email me I want to help.

The Sooner the City faces up to the LGBT Housing Crisis We Are Facing and takes appropriate action the better! failure to do so in my opinion means we need a new approach which does mean A Change At The Top.

Certain staff at the council have been in specific roles for sometime with no results, we need change and more public scrutiny. For too long these faceless, unelected bureaucrats have been failing to protect the vulnerable.


Add me on Facebook, Twitter or subscribe to My Youtube Channel.

A Open Letter to Jeremy Corbyn, More Scandal, Cuts and Lack of Action by Brighton and Hove City Council and my eviction.

Scandal No 1

No fresh water will be provided in Bartholomew House the Brighton and Hove City Council housing offices due to cuts

An Image of a bin with no water machine
This is where the water machine was at Bartholomew House, Brighton and Hove City Council Housing Offices

So I had to drag myself down to the housing office today, I went to get a glass of water from the machine and hey presto its gone, I asked the staff and they said they were taken away due to cost. How much does it cost to give a glass of water?

I’ve already shown you all the wastage in housing, maybe they should get rid of the incompetent staff members like Andy who was rude to me today and made negative remark after negative remark like “I cant to this” “I cant to that” So I tuned around and said rather than tell me what you cant do.

When will they realise that they are the worst council for housing in the country the negativity feeds into my illness, why cant they simple be positive and tell me what you can do. Andy said all he could do was contact my housing options advisor remember this is the same person who failed to prevent my homelessness back in December she said I wasn’t eligible for emergency housing back in Jan, a senior officer overturned this decision.

If Andy calls that customer service then I am sorry but that was possibly one of the worst experiences i’ve had at the council. I’ve managed customer service teams myself in the past, if one of my staff spoke to a customer  like the way Andy spoke to me then I would be giving that member of staff a verbal warning and personal development plan to improve his customer service skills, no improvement then its P45.


Scandal No 2

Service Charges are crippling many in emergency housing, I am currently on Employment Support Allowance, I get £75 a week to live on, out of this I am expected to pay the private limited company Helgor Trading Limited (who make millions from housing benefit) £50 a month, if you don’t pay you are out.

Here is a letter I got yesterday from Helgor Trading Limited.

A image of a letter about service charge arrears
This is where the water machine was at Bartholomew House, Brighton and Hove City Council Housing Offices

Here is a video of the state of the windows here at Percival Terrace

This water is dripping right down the main supporting wall – we have no laundry facilities and am not allowed any visitors. I know why so people don’t see the state of disrepair this building is in.

As Stated in the Letter this £55 MUST BE CLEARED IN FULL or I am on the streets again homeless, like the other 31% of applicants.

So its pay this starve and lose my personal belongings, or pay my storage fees for my personal belongings and have nowhere to keep them.

Basically I am in a catch22 situation and they know it, I am being discriminated against but I am not going down without a fight.

A Building Control Surveyor today sent this email to the owners of the building I am in.

A Letter About Poor State of Repair
So the Council acknowledge disrepair but do nothing about it, the ownership is on the company. Why am I facing eviction but they get away with it?

The Solution to all this is simple

Get me out of this stupid welfare trap designed to line the pockets of the slum landlords and leave us the vulnerable and homeless with nothing and no reason to live. In this building Four people have sadly committed suicide since last November , do you understand why now?


An Open Letter to the Rt. Honourable Jeremy Corbyn

Dear Jeremy Corbyn,

As the leader of the opposition, A man of ethics, principles and someone who is vocal about housing, I would like to know why I am being evicted from accommodation which I have said is unsuitable from the word go.

Why am I the one facing street homelessness again when I was the person brave enough to stand up against these unethical money grabbing companies who are raking in 10 billion a year from housing benefit money?

I would like to also know what the PM David Cameron has to say about this because as detailed above, four people have died in this one building alone since last November.

Not one to just plea, I also have a policy suggestion for the future, one that stops this legal fraud against the state and provides a secure future for the vulnerable and homeless.

I’ve worked out that by moving me from emergency housing to social housing there would be a saving of £600 a month from housing benefit. Thats £7200 a year for just one person.

There are 374 places I think ,probably more in the city of Brighton and Hove, thats £2.7 million saved in a year, So if we calculated this across the country I think labour have a new policy.

By firstly exposing the wastage and secondly building social housing and increasing the health and wellbeing of the vulnerable and homeless.

Its an investment policy not reactive like many current conservative government fiascos, Jeremy these are the sort of polices we need do be adopting as a nation, its the right time to seize on this with the Panama Papers.

Most importantly It would also save lives!!

If this extended to temporary housing then the savings in 10 years could go for example toward providing a non-privatised NHS, which is wastage in itself.

Many thanks

Daniel Harris


Soon to be evicted for providing a public service to the city of Brighton and Hove and the country as a whole.

Keep signing my petition and help me change this system forever, as always comment below and share with friends to highlight this scandal which is a national scandal. I will be emailing this to the local and national press and to Jeremy Corbyns office tonight.

Scandal No 3

I will lose my personal belongings which are in storage with Bishops Move Brighton.

When I was finally given a roof over my head on the 28th January 2016, I signed the licence agreement which essentially means I have an element of protection from future eviction and homelessness.

As many of you may have seen I posted Images from the room they provided me at percival terrace, when I arrived it was after 4pm and the worker at the hostel took me to the room, here are the images I took.

 

After being told my stuff is not safe and seeing for myself a door kicked in at the hostel I went into a manic state, I lost control and didn’t know what to do. The council offices were closed, I was alone, a friend reacted and hired a van (which I payed for) and found the first place that would have storage space available, called Ease the Squeeze. At a cost of £81 per month I took it at any cost to keep my stuff safe.

Four days later after I set up the Homeless Hotels From Hell Petition, I was moved from room 24 to Room 50 – If that is not a sign of wrongdoing I don’t know what is.

Yesterday I got this letter giving notice from Ease the Squeeze

The Shelter Charity and Legal Advice States that:

Storage for personal belongings

If you are homeless and apply to the council for help, the council has to protect your personal belongings and furniture if it has a duty to provide you with accommodation.

Your belongings when you are made homeless

If you have asked the council for help because you are homeless, you may not be able to take your furniture and belongings with you to any temporary housing the council provides.

This is because the accommodation provided might already be furnished or too small to store all your belongings.


When your personal property has to be protected

The council has duties to protect the personal property of homeless applicants when it is at risk of damage or loss and you can’t protect or deal with it yourself. For example, you may not be able to afford to arrange removals or storage.

This duty applies from the point you make an application as homeless and the council believes you may be eligible for help.

The duty applies to your property and the property of anyone else included in your application. Property includes personal belongings and furniture. It does not include equipment used for business purposes.


How the council must protect your belongings

The council has to do what is reasonable to prevent loss or damage to your propertyThe council can:

  • gain entry to a property to recover your belongings
  • arrange removals
  • arrange storage

Charges for the protection of your personal property

Most councils charge for the protection of property. Charges may be waived by some councils for people who claim benefits or have a low income.


Why are Brighton and Hove City Council Refusing – They say because I arranged for the storage on my own back. They failed to give me advice that what the housing options were set up to do, I have complained and Sylvia.peckham@brighton-hove.gov.uk – refused to help me, hiding behind legislation. I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Bipolar Disorder, surely they should have supported me.

Great News Though I have got an Adult Social Worker to help support me going forward, nevertheless, why are these Council Officers allowed to get away with this, they aren’t elected and clearly do not answer to our cities councillors

 

A Care Leaver Gets His Social Services Files Under Subject Access Request Rules

Hey Survivors and friends,

It was a lovely day today, the sun was shining and after a 3 day low I had my counselling with Mankind who are a charity in Brighton who work wonders providing much-needed counselling the LGBT Victims of Sexual and Child Abuse.

If you prefer media and videos below is a video of me venting about Social Services and the fact as a nation we are having more cut from public services.

Whilst I don’t believe social services helped me or my family, today we do see a different approach which of course still needs improving, we need to ensure public cuts don’t affect Children’s Services as they have now been rebranded to.

For  those of you who like to read, yes its been a tough St Paddy’s day, one in which the council have tested my limits yet again. All my life I have had questions, I’ve had the same memories,  i’ve also developed a strong sense of what is right from wrong. what I cannot understand is how an innocent six-year-old can get abused?.

Who are the real perpetrators here? How did this happen? Did I do something wrong? and why me? these are all genuine questions and the memories aren’t enough. Almost 3 months ago I embarked on a journey to discover the truth about my childhood, ok it is written from someone else’s perspective but its recorded.

What I can get is answers to my memories and I have, I have had specific memories that I have lived with all my life, certain smells that make me cringe and places which remind me of the past. I sit here in my emergency accommodation bed sit in sunny Brighton and Hove, I find that writing about this and other experiences is a form of rehabilitation.

I am however really frustrated with George Osbourne, yesterday was a white wash! He totally showed his real hand, he wasn’t bluffing. We on the other hand have more chips, we can beat these cuts and save vital services like “Social Services” who are their to help families in need, protect children and help get sexual predators but behind bars where he belongs.

Listen if you have any comments or want to share any stories with me I am always happy to listen, feel free to reblog this or follow for future updates.

I am off to sleep. Goodnight and blessings.

Daniel  x