NHS ambulance worker forced to sleep in car due to housing crisis
Homeless man found living in underground vault
An NHS ambulance worker has been compelled to spend his nights sleeping in his car due to the unaffordable housing situation in the United Kingdom.
Bogumil Kusiba, a 54-year-old resident of Gravesham, found himself homeless after his landlord decided to sell his rented accommodation in September.
With the high cost of living and limited affordable housing options, Bogumil found himself with no other choice but to sleep in his silver Volkswagen Fox, parked in the ambulance station’s car park in Barnehurst, Bexley, where he works.
Inside his car, Bogumil manages to make do by reclining the front seat and bundling himself up with three blankets and three thick coats to keep warm during the chilly nights.
He’s determined to make the best of his situation, even though he longs for a proper roof over his head. Speaking about his predicament, he said: “I have a roof but it is not the same as having a room. I can put my seat all the way back, but it is not a bed.”
Bogumil’s story highlights the often-hidden face of homelessness – individuals who are employed and maintain their hygiene but are still unable to secure housing due to financial constraints.
He mentioned that he had experienced homelessness before, but he never imagined he would find himself in this situation again.
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One of the major challenges Bogumil faces is the high upfront costs of renting, with landlords demanding the first month’s rent and a deposit, which can amount to nearly £2,000 ($2,475) in some cases.
Bogumil said: “I do not have the money for both. It was unfortunate timing as it was also an expensive month for me with other bills.”
This financial hurdle is what kept him trapped in his car. Despite his situation, Bogumil has received support from his employer, allowing him to use the office’s facilities such as a microwave and showers. He has also found friends who help him with laundry and storage for his belongings.
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Bogumil has reached out to the local council for assistance, but he hasn’t been offered temporary accommodation due to not having children and being single, making him a lower priority according to the Housing Act 1996 (amended 2002).
He said: “The system is against me, it has been a mission to get this far. I am getting some support but it is not enough, I am still living in my car.”
Bogumil went on to express his frustration about not being a priority within the system: “On paper, I am at the bottom of the priority list. I understand other people come as a higher priority if they have children but I am not asking for a palace, just a bed.”
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