A disabled man who is currently sleeping rough claims that Cornwall Council has told him he is not a priority to receive help.
Dominic Clark-Campbell contacted the council when he became homeless in December, but despite meeting the criteria that would consider him a priority, he claims the housing department did not consider helping him a high-priority task as he is able to read and write.
The Falmouth Packet reports that Dominic lives with a number of disabilities, including autism, degenerative nerve damage, chronic pain and a patch on his brain, which in his opinion, causes him to make basic mistakes.
Dominic told the newspaper that he spent Christmas sleeping in a friend’s van, going to McDonald’s every morning before work to wash and have a coffee, before he would go to work at a school in Devon which he found through an agency. They report that a week ago, Dominic was let go from the position as they discovered he lives with a neurological condition which he had not declared to them.
He is due to have an operation which the hospital refuses to carry out while Dominic is homeless, due to the risk of infection which could occur during recovery.
Despite this, Dominic says his interactions with housing officers have been marred by a “lack of understanding” regarding his disability, including the Councill’s housing officer who he claims made no adjustments regarding Dominic’s sensory needs, conducting the interview in a busy, brightly lit area where he did not feel safe.
Autism campaigner Anna Kennedy caught wind of Dominic’s story and paid for him to stay in a Travelodge for three nights, before starting a Just Giving page to help him.
In a statement to the Packet, a spokesperson for Cornwall Council told the newspaper: “Individual cases can be incredibly complex. In a situation like this, Cornwall Housing take all possible action to help prevent homelessness in the first place. If that is not possible, we will support the person to help them find appropriate, alternative accommodation and provide a range of help including accessing other forms of emergency and social housing.
“Depending on an individual’s circumstances we will offer support which may include referrals to help access emergency accommodation and support services, a referral for financial assistance and an offer of a deposit and rent in advance.”Get your copy of UNITE Magazine