Here in the hostel

Now, I have lived in three temporary accommodation places.
There was the foyer. That was a big building with flats upstairs with 4 rooms a shower, toilet and kitchen, and downstairs were beds it’s and one bedroom flats. We had a security guard at night, and key workers 9-5 as it was a place for homeless 16-25 year olds. I went in there when I was 18. There were fights, parties, a wrecked common area, and quite a bit of drink and drugs. I spent two years there. I came to be respected by all the residents and staff, I had a lot of the more popular gang in my room most evenings especially when I was on move on and had one of the downstairs bedsits, but I quite liked it there.
There was the B&B. It wasn’t a bed and breakfast as you would think. Double security front door, cameras everywhere but the bathrooms and bedrooms, a communal living room, a communal kitchen and a garden. The breakfast was a carton of fruit juice and 2 pints of milk once a week and bread, tea, coffee, sugar and cornflakes in the kitchen. The support workers would come in around 10am and check the cameras from the previous 24 hours, even though someone watched the cameras pretty much 24/7 anyway, but just in case they missed something they would check. It was dinky and me, a 46 year old bloke, a 22 year old who was under mental health for being severely anorexic, a 17 year old who had her son removed by social services, an 19 year old who had just been released from prison for ABH, an 18 year old who, as soon as his money came in spent it on weed, and finally, after a couple of weeks a 20 year old came who also had her child removed from her by social services. Sounds grim right? Actually I’m not one to judge. The 19 year old who just got released from prison was a really nice lad who had a heart of gold, myself and the 22 year old got on really well, the two who lost their children were nice enough but struggled a lot with the fact I had dinky with me, the 18 year old just needed a role model, someone to look up to and give him a sense of direction in his life, the 46 year old, well he was a law unto himself and made most people very uncomfortable. Both dinky and I quite liked it there, everyone was considerate of dinky’s bedtime, they all joined in dinky’s games, and when she was asleep we all chatted away in the communal living area.
Then we were moved out of the B&B into this family hostel. Out of all 3 places this is actually the worst place! The woman downstairs has 2 kids, a 3 year old and a 3 month old. She is playing the system and everyone knows it. She also keeps dinky up for hours with her non stop phone calls in rather loud, the fact I have asked her time and time again if she could possibly keep the noise down from 6-7pm just so my daughter can get off to sleep. Which is doubly important as she feels the need to scream at her children at 4.30-5am and wake dinky. I’m pretty sure I’m the only parent with a concept of routine as the other children all aged between 18 months and 3 are screaming, shouting and running around all evening some of them right up until midnight. Last night an 18 month old and 19 month old were running about outside my room at 1 am. So it seems not very many people in this place value sleep! Although before the woman downstairs had her 2nd child she complained to the council that my daughter woke her up at 6.30 am playing in the morning. The council laughed at her because most kids are up around that time. There is just a general lack of consideration for others in this place. Not just the fact none of them are bothered that others might be sleeping, but I’ve had my dinner turned off because the person didn’t check if there was anything in the oven before turning the cooker off, if you aren’t taking your washing out as soon as it is finished it is dumped unceremoniously on the top and then wet clothes are removed from the dryers so they can be used, not thinking to check whose washing it is or just letting the person know that their washing has finished, or even just waiting until the machines are empty. I think the worst part was being called racist by the woman downstairs because I didn’t like her putting the heating up a 26 degrees.
To be honest I would much rather be back under constant surveillance with the teenagers than live here! Still, it shouldnt be too much longer, maybe around April time if the right area comes up we will be housed. I still bid every Monday, it does get a little depressing when you realise you are no where near the top of the list. Our time will come… For now, we just have to suck it up and get on with it!

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