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Homeless man living in abandoned car in Stowmarket claims Mid Suffolk District Council has neglected his case

PUBLISHED: 08:26 14 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:18 15 February 2018

Andrew Wallace has been living in his car for over five months. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Andrew Wallace has been living in his car for over five months. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Andrew Wallace, 49, became homeless when a number of serious falls leading to a brain injury left him unable to work.

Mr Wallace struggles to leave his car due to his mobility problems. Picture: GREGG BROWN Mr Wallace struggles to leave his car due to his mobility problems. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A man living in an abandoned car in Stowmarket has claimed he has been failed by the council’s homelessness service.

He previously owned a window cleaning business for 19 years, but is now unable to walk without a stick. He also has regular seizures which have led to further complications, including hallucinations.

Mr Wallace said, despite him reaching out on a number of occasions, the council have done little to help – and he has been stuck living in the car for over five months.

Having been housed briefly in the Eric Jones council-controlled accommodation in Stowmarket during a period of freezing weather, Mr Wallace was discharged on Christmas Eve when temperatures rose and his situation no longer officially warranted an emergency.

On one occasion, he claims the council misdirected him – offering advice that later turned out to be incorrect.

He also claims officials have never once been out to see him in his car.

“My doctor tried phoning [a council officer] up to ask why this sick man, with a motor impairment, had not been housed yet.

“But every time that she phoned, she either got the switchboard, cut off or put on hold. If a doctor can’t speak to somebody from the council I don’t know who can. I haven’t got a hope.”

Without a mobile phone or access to the internet, Mr Wallace’s only option has been to go to the council offices directly, where he has allegedly been turned away on a number of occasions.

He said: “I even had one of the receptionists say to me you can’t keep coming in and out. It seems to me if you’re a bloke, you’re single, and you’ve got no children with you, that’s it.”

On top of his injury, Mr Wallace has in the past suffered with an alcohol problem. He also lost his baby daughter to meningitis on his 30th birthday, which he says seriously affected his ability to cope.

“Things went pretty much downhill from there, to be honest with you,” he added.

“As the years have gone by and I’ve got older, that hasn’t gone away. The worst decision I ever had to make was turning the life support off.”

A spokesperson for Mid Suffolk District Council said: “We have assisted Andrew with temporary accommodation recently and we are willing to see him and talk through his housing options.”

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