No one should have to choose between their health and their home

20 September 2018 by

Imagine wanting to take your child home from hospital but being unable to do so as the conditions there would make him ill – or even endanger his life. That’s what Laura faced until our hospital discharge team in Birmingham stepped into help.

When we first met Laura, she was living in a damp and mouldy council flat with her four young children, worried for their health and terrified they might be taken into care.

Living in unacceptable conditions

Laura, complained to the council and they eventually tried to repair the wall, but with limited success. All five of them ended up wedged into the one dry bedroom.

It was obvious the flat was causing Elliot’s health problems

One-year-old Elliot, who has serious heart and lung problems, suffered worst. He couldn’t breathe properly and was hospitalised several times.

‘Every time he left hospital he was a bit better,’ says Laura; ‘then his chest got bad again whenever he came home.’

From bad to worse

‘I became very depressed’, says Laura; ‘I didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything.’ Worst of all, she feared her children might be taken away from her.

Imagine how she felt when the hospital said they could no longer discharge Elliot into such unhealthy conditions.

Watch Laura’s story in her own words

How we helped

Our Hospital Discharge Navigator, Natalie helped Laura make a new housing application, and she made the council review Elliot’s medical evidence.

Natalie also supported Laura in claiming the benefits she was entitled to and helped her with budgeting. It gave her back a much-needed sense of control.

In February, the family finally moved into their clean and dry ‘forever home’. It even has a small garden. Says Laura; ‘Shelter changed my life and that of my kids’.

Elliot’s health has already improved, which means Laura can breathe more easily too

By donating, you’ll allow us to help more families like Laura’s