A mum who found herself homeless alongside her two children, brother and husband has spoken of the “difficult” path into a property of their own in time for Christmas.
Elzbieta Krysiak, 33, was staying at a friend’s house with her two children, aged seven and four, her husband Damian and brother Lukas, when she was forced to move out in June 2019.
Her friend’s landlord had given a section 21 notice – where they can take possession of the house without providing any reason and without any fault of the tenant – and Mrs Krysiak’s family was left with nowhere to go.
They had no choice but to present themselves as homeless to Housing Aid, which placed them in a hotel on a temporary basis.
“We were all sleeping in a hotel each day, and when you have children at school it is really difficult,” she told Nottinghamshire Live.
“It was a surprise for us. We never thought we could have been homeless. Ever.
“My husband was in full-time work and my brother too, so the problem was not with money. We had been trying to rent from a private landlord but the problem was because we are a family of five.
“Everyone was telling us that we could not rent a three-bedroom house like that. It was impossible. for houses any bigger the rent was too much.
“We had been on the queue for a council house for three years. It was really difficult.”
After a month of living in an “unsuitable” hotel room, Mrs Krysiak received a call from Michelle Beecher, the assistant manager for Framework’s homeless families service.
From here on their life started to get better.
Two weeks later Mrs Krysiak and her family were in Framework’s much more suitable temporary accommodation and given the support they needed to finally find a home of their own.
Mrs Krysiak said Michelle was “the first person who did not ask why I was in this situation and did not judge me”.
Michelle, who has worked with Framework for 14 years and became the assistant manager for the homeless families service in 2017 upon its founding, said they were placed into a three-bed property more suitable to their needs.
“First and foremost we provide accommodation for families and we have got 19 units in total,” Michelle said.
“We got a contract with Nottingham City Council back in 2017, as a commissioner had noticed that there were a lot of families that were in bed and breakfasts or hotels, which were not adequate and unsuitable for families.
“We are a low support service, but we offer some support in-house like helping to cook meals or budgeting.
“Elzbieta got referred to us on July 4, 2019. Anyone who comes to us with children, it is heartbreaking. I love children so we are confident in trying to relax them, and when parents see their children relax they tend to relax as well.
“It can be daunting. It is a lot of uncertainty.”
However, in April this year and despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Framework and Housing Aid managed to help the family secure a property in St Ann’s.
They are now in a much better position just in time for Christmas and the New Year.
Speaking of how she was helped, Mrs Krysiak said: “Michelle just really, really wanted to help us.
“Everyone at Framework want to help someone in need. They all have got hearts. We are just happy that we are safe.
“I promised Michelle I will bake some cakes for her. I’m really grateful.”
Michelle added: “I love this job, it is very hard, but Elzbieta’s story is the best part of the job when people get offers.”
How you can help people like Elzbieta:
Framework can only continue to offer services such as these with your help.
The Framework Homeless to Home appeal aims to raise money to keep its current services, which include hostels, outreach teams, complex needs and rehabilitation centres, transition services for young people, domestic violence and homelessness prevention teams, which all span the three counties.
The charity is currently housing some 2,500 people across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, but finances are increasingly needed to continue and expand these services, particularly amid the deepest recession since economic records began.
To donate access: www.frameworkha.org/nottinghamshirelive
For people wishing to send a cheque they can do so by sending it made payable to Framework to: Fundraising, Framework, Val Roberts House, 25 Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham NG7 6NX Please supply your full name and address so Framework can acknowledge your gift. Please indicate whether Framework can claim Gift Aid.
If you wish to speak to the Framework fundraising team please email email@example.com or call 0115 970 9558.