Recently, Philomena helped a client who, along with her daughter and her two elderly parents, was made homeless after an unexpectedly large tax bill left the family bankrupt.
What happened next is a testament to the fantastic difference Shelter adviser Philomena and her colleagues make to so many lives.
“It was devastating to lose the home I had lived in for 49 years.
We went to the council for help and as my dad has a few health problems, they recognised us as ‘in need of a home’. Then they got the idea I’d made myself intentionally homeless and put us in a lower category.
I didn’t know how to discuss all this with people in authority, so I went to Shelter and met with Philomena. I was overwhelmed with the feeling that this was my fault, but Philomena made it so easy to talk to her…she understood.
She got in touch with the council and managed to get our case looked at again. They put our banding back up again and also backdated the application, so we didn’t have to start all over again.
Then a local housing association invited us to see a property – and accepted us! It was like someone had lifted a 12-ton weight off my head.
The first person I phoned when I found out we had the house was Philomena.
She is an amazing woman. She’s so level-headed. I look at her and think she must be dealing with so many people; people who are much worse off than me – but she never forgot me.
I’ll never forget her – and I can never thank Shelter enough.”
Philomena is one of 10 advisers at our hub in Devon who help people facing homelessness. In celebrating Philomena’s compassionate and skilful approach, we hope to recognise the invaluable role they all play.
And while our advisers make such a huge impact, our services are massively stretched. To help our advisers continue to be there for those who need their support, please donate today.
You’ll be pleased to know despite the current situation our advisers are giving advice over the phone.
And while our advisers make such a huge impact, our services are massively stretched. To help our advisers continue to be there for those who need our support, please donate today.