The top 10 myths of UTA: the fourth myth

This is the fourth instalment in the top 10 myths of unsupported temporary accommodation written by Gary Bishop – CEO of the Justlife Foundation. The previous three are all still available on this website, so if you haven’t read them yet – there is still plenty of time! Don’t forget once you’ve read this to share it with your family and friends so we can start to change the way people see the hidden homeless stuck in UTA.

Myth 4: ‘At least it’s somewhere safe’

If you’ve spent a few months or weeks – even a few days living on the streets, you could be forgiven for thinking that the offer of a room in temporary accommodation marks the end of the trauma and all the hazards and dangers you’ve been faced with. The common perception is that the emergency accommodation is a secure, managed facility where those who’ve experiences the trauma of life on the streets can find refuge.

This is very often not the case…here’s the experience from one of our research participants in their own words:

“I went to this place that I didn’t know, with people I didn’t know and when I met them I didn’t want to know them anymore because they are drug addicts, alcoholics, thieves, violent people, but I had no choice but to stay there, I had nowhere else to go…[the accommodation] was dirty and violent, disgusting really, damp. I could even smell the damp, I couldn’t breathe properly at night. I was really depressed to be honest, never in my life did I live in an environment like that. But the worst thing, the worst thing that makes me depressed was not the state of the buildings, but the people around me. They are always stealing things, that made me angry first then depressed after, they were always stealing something. I couldn’t let them come into my room, always something was missing. I was angry. And then, second day they attack me and I landed in hospital.”

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