Woman with depression told she can ‘manage being homeless’ by council

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Woman with depression told she can ‘manage being homeless’ by council

A young woman with mental health problems has been told she should be able to ‘manage being homeless’ by a council official.

The extraordinary comments were made in a letter informing the unnamed woman that she did not qualify for ‘priority need’ status on a council housing waiting list.

She received the letter after being told she was losing her emergency B&B accommodation.

Council tells man with mental health issues he should be able to deal with being homeless Credit: @HumanityTorbay

The council accepted her mental health issues but still told her she was not a ‘priority’ (Picture: HumanityTorbay)

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 02, 2018 Pedestrians walk past homeless man Magic in his spot in a doorway on High Street opposite Windsor Castle, in Windsor, west of London, on February 2, 2018. - Almost 600 homeless people in England and Wales died during the last year -- a 24 percent rise over the past five years, the Office for National Statistics estimated on December 20, 2018. (Photo by DANIEL SORABJI / AFP)DANIEL SORABJI/AFP/Getty Images

The woman (not pictured) was told she does not qualify for ‘priority need’ (Picture: AFP/Getty)

Despite accepting that she suffers from depression and borderline personality disorder, a Torbay Council official wrote: ‘You are a person that I am satisfied is able to cope and function reasonably well with ‘day to day’ living and this would I believe still be the case if you were to become homeless or to remain homeless.’

The unknown council official says they are satisfied the claimant ‘does not have priority needs’ under housing law.

They say they have decided she is ‘resilient enough’ to manage being homeless even if that means sleeping rough ‘occasionally or in the longer term’.

The letter adds: ‘We are unfortunately, as a result of this decision, not able to continue to provide you with temporary accommodation.’

The letter, revealed by charity Humanity Torbay, accepts the woman like anyone else facing becoming homeless ‘will inevitably suffer harm.’

Council tells man with mental health issues he should be able to deal with being homeless Credit: @HumanityTorbay

‘You would be able to cope with homelessness,’ the council told her (Picture: HumanityTorbay)

In a statement, the charity said: ‘We are horrified and shocked that somebody with severe depression and other medical facts is deemed fit to be able to sleep on the streets.’

A spokeswoman said the charity had arranged a temporary safe place for the woman to stay.

Torbay Council says the extracts of the letter shared on social media do not tell the full story and it tries as hard as it can within the law to help people who come forward as homeless.

A council spokesperson said the person involved has the right to ask for a review of the decision and the council is still supporting them to find accommodation.

Posts featuring the letter on Facebook and Twitter have attracted criticism including from Torbay Tory MP Kevin Foster.

He said the decision was unacceptable and urged the woman to get in touch so he could challenge the council.

Humanity Torbay said the woman involved had asked for the case to be publicised and it was protecting her identity.

In November, Torbay Council was criticised for threatening to remove a homeless couple’s tent from public land.

Last year Torbay was given almost £300,000 in extra Government funding to tackle rough sleeping.

The council said it would fund projects including temporary accommodation for young people and an outreach worker for young adults.

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