UK

Homeless Woman Dawn Martin Offered Vouchers For Tent By Isle Of Wight Council After Applying For Emergency Housing

03/06/2013 15:04 BST | Updated 03/06/2013 17:50 BST
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A homeless woman who was refused emergency housing by the Isle of Wight council was instead offered vouchers to buy a tent and food.

Dawn Martin, 62 was told she didn't qualify for accomodation as she was not vulnerable enough.

However the pensioner reportedly told the County Press: “I don’t know how they can say a 62 year old camping alone at night isn’t vulnerable.”

She told the Isle of Wight newspaper: "I know some people will think it is my own fault I'm in this situation, but I wanted to highlight that this a problem for other people.

"For some people there is no safety net. I thought that for someone of my age there would be some kind of buffer, some kind of emergency help for a week or two while I got on my feet."

Isle of Wight council told the Huffington Post UK: “There are national guidelines that determine when a person qualifies for emergency accommodation and unfortunately this person did not meet this criteria.

"Nevertheless we have remained in contact with her to offer advice and support on how she can access funds to pay for temporary accommodation in bed and breakfast. We have also put her in touch with a bed and breakfast provider who does not require a deposit.

"During our discussions with her we did - as a last resort and which we accept is far from ideal - offer her vouchers with which she could, at the very least, buy a tent as a temporary shelter but she declined this."

In November, homeless 21-year-old Michelle Conroy was killed by a falling tree whilst camping in Exeter city centre, after a spruce tree she had pitched her tent under was uprooted by the storms and torrential rain.

She was taken to hospital but was pronounced dead a short while later.