It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post.
When we moved in to our temporary housing I felt I needed to take a giant step back from the whole thing. For such a long time being Homeless Mummy was a big part of my life. It was all I thought about most days. But finally I felt settled and safe with a two year break before I had to think about moving and packing up for a final time. So it was easy to step away from here. It felt better not to have it as a focus and I was keen to shake it all off as a bad experience to be forgotten.
It’s been almost a year since we moved here. That hit me this week as I thought about what we were doing last Halloween (in emergency 6 week housing). That started me thinking about this blog. And missing this blog if I’m honest. I toyed with a new blog for a while but my heart wasn’t in it. It all felt a bit self indulgent without a specific focus like homelessness.
Homeless mummy. That is not me anymore. Well, technically my housing status is still set to homeless. We are still in our temporary flat and very happy here. It’s a very content life we lead, this little family of mine. My daughter has changed to the more local school and is very happy. My son started at the local primary in September and is settling well. I am volunteering again and feeling very grateful for my lot. Life is good. We got lucky.
One year. It seems so far away now. Or at least it did until I spent the evening reading through these posts. In some ways it still feels so raw. I get a little bit tense to think of it all again. But mostly we’ve taken this journey and turned it into something positive for us. I have learnt a great deal about my strengths and weaknesses. I feel like our family is stronger for it. There are a few little leftover hang ups though - I get the occasional nightmare – huge empty rooms with the children sleeping on the floor – stern looking people hurrying us along hallways and out of a front door and firmly locking it behind us so we stand clueless and lost on the steps… so silly I know! I also worry about the council changing the rules when I go back to work and forcing me to sort our own housing – not founded on anything other then a huge distrust for how they run their lists. We are a number they’d love to check off. If I am lucky enough to get a job (I am looking!) I will look at the private sector again and start searching. It fills me with dread though – the thought of being back under the rule of the two months notice. I don’t think I will really relax if we do privately rent.
The system hasn’t changed. I still get emails from people facing homelessness and they are reporting the same hoops I jumped through. This blog gets hits with searches like “section 21 and families” “homeless with my children” and similar. The numbers are on a steady upward trend which fits with the much predicted rise in homelessness due to new policies. The bedroom tax and the Cap affecting so many now it seems. It’s something that interests me more and more and I’m considering my next volunteering role being linked to housing somehow. Something good to come of it all.
Thanks so much to those of you who supported us and cheered us along through the darker days – hopefully in a year I can update you about our final move to our permanent home!