London mum ‘threatened with social services after becoming homeless’

Lambeth Council has since admitted that its initial assessment was not good enough.

A London mum claims she was told to “wait outside in the freezing rain for six hours” when she begged Lambeth Council for help after becoming homeless.

The anonymous woman, identified as Jane, spoke about her heartbreak – claiming she was told she could not be supported as she was not a British citizen.

The mother of two was being stalked by her abusive ex-partner after she ran away from home with her two daughters.

Jane left their six-year relationship after discovering he had defaulted on rent for four years.

She endured years of abuse due to the impact of his gambling, drinking and lying, but he refused to leave when she ended the relationship.

She told MyLondon that he had become ‘aggressive’ but police said they couldn’t do much to help.

“I called the police and they told him to leave, but they couldn’t stop him from coming back without a court order because he was in the lease,” she added.

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She was left homeless with two young children.  Image bank (Image: Getty Images)

She was left homeless with two young children. Image bank (Image: Getty Images)

He continued to return several times, but she claims the police advised her to go to the council.

She alleges that when she begged the council for help, they warned her that the long period of being homeless could cause her case to be ‘transferred to social services’, meaning a ‘possibility’ of her children being taken away.

Recalling a visit to the council offices, Jane continued: ‘We waited six hours outside in the freezing rain with my two children because I didn’t have money to go somewhere and get a coffee.

‘They didn’t care. I asked the policeman, “Please, can you let us in because it’s cold and raining.”’

But she would have been refused.

When she later had a response from the council, she stated that they would not support her as she was not a British citizen and cited ‘what she experienced was not domestic violence’.

She said the temporary accommodation she and her children were given was dirty, cold and dangerous.

“It was a horrible place with only two mattresses, no sheets or blankets, in the middle of winter in the freezing cold,” added Jane.

Required credit: Photo by ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (12233678b) An overview of Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton, London, UK, 27th July 2021. Lambeth Council in south London has been charged of abusing hundreds of children while in their care for several decades, an inquiry found.  Lambeth Council accused of abusing hundreds of children while in their care, London, UK - 27th July 2021

Jane says the temporary accommodation she and her children were given was dirty, cold and dangerous (Photo: Rex/Shutterstock)

‘As I didn’t have money to buy some things, I ended up going out on the road and asked a lady passing by to help me buy a blanket or something just to cover us up.’

A spokesperson for Lambeth Council said: ‘We apologize that the initial assessment was not good enough, and staff training has been organized to ensure this does not happen again.

“We are also introducing a face-to-face service for vulnerable claimants, including victims of domestic abuse, as we recognize that it is essential that they have a safe place to go while awaiting assessments.

‘We reviewed our Domestic Violence Policy with colleagues in our Violence against Women and Girls program and are committed to obtaining accreditation from the Domestic Violence Alliance to ensure we do what we can to support victims of domestic violence.’

The statement goes on to say that improving safety for women and girls is “a key priority” for the council.

“In developing Lambeth’s updated strategy to address violence against women and girls, we worked with those who have experience as well as experts in the field,” the spokesperson added.

‘But we know that there is still a lot to be done, namely with regard to the impacts of the municipality’s housing deficit.’

The Metropolitan Police were unable to provide a comment when contacted by

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