Florin, one of our Roma Outreach Mediators, talks about his experience working with Dumitru and Maria to find them a stable home and Settled Status in the UK.
I met the Dumitru and Maria for the first time at the beginning of March 2022. They are originally from Romania and still have family there.
They weren’t sure they wanted to speak with me because their previous experiences with other outreach workers. When I told them that I am working for the Roma team and Nico is my manager they told me: “Nico has helped us in the past and if you are working with her than you must be trustworthy”.
Since then I’ve managed to help them to see the immigration adviser for their European Settlement Scheme applications, to open a bank account, to register at the Community Investment Programme in Camden and to apply for a free medication certificate.
Often people who are experiencing homelessness struggle to access medical care, prescriptions and medical assessments. When I took them to the Community Investment Programme in Camden I found out that Dumitru is registered with Romanian’s health system because of his diabetes and takes the insulin for free. The team in Camden ran some tests and found other previously undiagnosed health conditions, including some vitamin deficiencies and a history of hepatitis B.
“Nico has helped us in the past and if you are working with her than you must be trustworthy”.
I also found out that Maria had had a stroke in the summer of 2019 in the UK. The team in Camden provided Maria with a 24hr device to monitor her blood pressure, and tablets for her cholesterol.
Because of their health conditions I wrote to Social Services in Camden to help Maria and Dumitru to get assessed under the Care Act. They haven’t received a written answer yet. At the same time I helped them apply for housing assistance from Camden. Unfortunately, the answer was that they are not eligible for assistance.
In May 2022, Dumitru received his letter that confirmed his Settled Status. Having that, I helped them apply for their National Insurance numbers and then for Universal Credit. Dumitru’s claim for Universal Credit was approved, which meant they could then afford to move out of temporary accommodation.
At the end of May 2022 I found them some long term accommodation and I helped them to move into their new rented house.