David's story. Experiencing homelessness in Wales during a pandemic.

Fersiwn Cymraeg isod / Welsh version below

David had been given been a place in a hostel as part of the Covid-19 emergency accommodation measures his local council had put in place. He had sought help from the council after having to leave his mother’s place because of a breakdown in their relationship. David had been asked to leave the hostel because of alleged bad behaviour.

When he revisited the agency that was acting on behalf of the council’s Housing Options during the pandemic, he was given a sleeping bag and no further help. David has a history of mental health issues and becoming homeless had been particularly challenging for him. The agency told him because he had been evicted from the hostel, he had made himself intentionally homeless and was no longer entitled to help and was not a priority. David was angry and felt his treatment was unfair with no acknowledgement of the vulnerable state he was in. He left with nowhere to turn and David slept rough for three nights.

"Sleeping bags, it’s just after October time, what am I, what do I do with a sleeping bag outside?"

He described the way the staff spoke to him as demeaning and belittling, assuming that he was solely at fault for his situation.

"They was talking to me like I was a five year old because I’m a youngster and she could tell I was getting wound up... She just kept talking to me like I was a child."

Having to sleep rough had further detrimental effects on his mental health and well-being. He gave up hope in getting further help from the council and was worried that such experiences would push him back to the drug use he had left behind.

“...mentally it just ruins you. It’s horrible. I won’t want to wish it up on anyone. I don’t understand how they was allowed to give me sleeping bags because no one was allowed to be on the street.”

David contacted a local youth homelessness service who said that he had two options: one to go on the council housing waiting list or try and find something in the private rented sector. It was not until his Universal Credit work coach suggested he contact Crisis did he eventually manage to find a bedsit. Crisis provided help to search for appropriate and affordable properties and also provided a deposit in advance.

Finding a new home brought to an end David’s difficult period of sofa-surfing and meant he could focus again on the future. He described the four months it took to find a new home as the most significant of his life, in terms of the negative impact it had.

Having a secure place to stay means David is able to properly address his mental health needs and look to find work again.

 

Cafodd David le mewn hostel yn rhan o’r mesurau llety argyfwng yn ystod Covid-19 yr oedd ei gyngor lleol wedi’u rhoi ar waith. Roedd wedi ceisio cymorth gan y cyngor ar ôl gorfod gadael cartref ei fam o ganlyniad i’w perthynas yn chwalu. Gofynnwyd i David adael yr hostel oherwydd honiadau o ymddygiad drwg. Pan ailymwelodd â’r asiantaeth oedd yn gweithredu ar ran Opsiynau Tai y cyngor yn ystod y pandemig, cafodd fag cysgu, a dim cymorth pellach.

Mae gan David hanes o broblemau iechyd meddwl ac roedd dod yn ddigartref yn heriol tu hwnt iddo. Dywedodd yr asiantaeth wrtho ei fod wedi gwneud ei hun yn ddigartref yn fwriadol gan iddo gael ei droi allan o’r hostel, ac felly nid oedd yn gymwys I gael cymorth mwyach ac nid oedd yn flaenoriaeth. Roedd David yn flin ac yn teimlo ei fod wedi cael ei drin yn annheg, heb unrhyw gydnabyddiaeth o’i sefyllfa fregus iawn. Cafodd ei adael heb unrhyw le i droi ato, a chysgodd David ar y stryd am dair noson.

"Bagiau cysgu, mae hi wedi mis Hydref, beth ydw i, beth ydw i’n ei wneud gyda bag cysgu y tu allan?"

Disgrifiodd y ffordd yr oedd staff wedi siarad ag ef mewn ffordd nawddoglyd, ac yn ei fychanu, gan gymryd yn ganiataol mai ei fai ef oedd ei sefyllfa.

"Ro’n nhw’n siarad gyda fi fel pe byddwn yn blentyn pump oed gan fy mod i’n ifanc, ac roedd hi’n gallu dweud fy mod yn dechrau gwylltio… parhaodd i siarad â mi fel plentyn."

Cafodd cysgu ar y stryd effeithiau niweidiol pellach ar ei iechyd meddwl a’i les. Roedd wedi colli gobaith o gael rhagor o gymorth gan y cyngor, ac roedd yn poeni y byddai profiadau o’r fath yn ei yrru i ddefnyddio cyffuriau eto, yr oedd wedi peidio ers tro.

"…yn feddyliol, mae’n dy hwalu. Mae’n ofnadwy. Ni fyddwn yn ei ddymuno ar unrhyw un. Dw i ddim yn deall sut oedden nhw’n cael rhoi bagiau cysgu i mi gan nad oedd unrhyw un i fod I gysgu ar y stryd."

Cysylltodd David â gwasanaeth digartrefedd ieuenctid lleol wnaeth ddweud bod ganddo ddau opsiwn: un oedd mynd ar restr aros tai’r cyngor, neu geisio dod o hyd i rywbeth yn y sector rhentu preifat. Ar ôl i’w hyfforddwr gwaith Credyd Cynhwysol awgrymu iddo gysylltu â Crisis, llwyddodd i ddod o hyd i fflat un ystafell. Darparodd Crisis gymorth i chwilio am eiddo priodol a fforddiadwy, a hefyd blaendal ymlaen llaw.

Roedd dod o hyd i gartref newydd yn nodi diwedd cyfnod anodd David o syrffio-soffa, ac roedd yn golygu bod modd iddo ganolbwyntio ar y dyfodol. Disgrifiodd y pedwar mis a gymerodd iddo ddod o hyd i gartref newydd fel y rhai mwyaf arwyddocaol o’i fywyd, o ran yr effaith negyddol arno. Mae bod â lle diogel i aros ynddo yn golygu y gall David fynd i’r afael â’i anghenion iechyd meddwl a chwilio am waith eto.

 

By sharing stories we can change attitudes and build a movement for permanent, positive change. Stand against homelessness and help us end it for good.