Help Kathleen & Family find a home

My name is Zoe. I have recently become friends with Kathleen, who is a talented writer in her late 30’s.

Kathleen lives in Portsmouth UK, with her husband, 4 kids and their dog (see photo: trying to help out with the house search).

Life was ticking along quite nicely for Kathleen and her family, until a few years ago when she was beset by an incapacitating combination of health issues (6 operations, partial mastectomy, heart disease, unstable angina, to give you but a flavour) and her husband was made redundant. Just when they needed stability most, the landlord sold their house from under them and they were made homeless.

It was this point at which Kathleen and her family discovered that the safety net that is supposed to be there to cushion the fall when we hit unexpected hard times is full of gaping holes. The safety net which she, her husband, and many others of us have paid towards throughout theirs and our working lives.

And the situation continues to get worse. The latest landlord has decided to evict the family, and Kathleen has recently experienced another hospital stay with agonising pleurisy and pneumonia. Given her underlying health conditions, Kathleen should now be lying on the sofa recovering, being fed peeled grapes, watching trash TV, and most definitely NOT stressing (doctors’ orders - if only they could prescribe on time tax credits; we’ll come on to that).

Instead, she is pounding the streets on foot daily out of necessity (no money for transport), between hospital and doctors appointments, to try and find a new rental that will be within the family’s means and for which a landlord will accept them. Have you ever tried to get a rental with no savings for a deposit, a bad credit rating from previous redundancy, 4 kids and a dog? Then, trying come up with creative ways to feed a family on a pittance, when - oops, sorry – there’s been a mistake with tax credits and you’ll get them “sometime in September”.

This is not a sob story, this is a real story. A real human story within which any of us could be the protagonists.

Kathleen is a determined and resilient person who is clearly doing everything within her power to get back on an even keel.  Kathleen does not want a “hand out”, but I am here to tell you (because she simply won’t), that as a fellow human being and member of our community, she does need our support to climb back up into that safety net, away from the swirling dark water below.

£2500 will quite simply pay for a deposit, a month’s rent, her move, and a couple of wardrobes to replace those rotten by the damp in her current rental property. Any contribution you can afford will be most gratefully appreciated.



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Emma Stedall 
Southsea, South East England, United Kingdom

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