A couple left homeless after complications with their local council are living in a caravan and fear they will still be eating Greggs sandwiches at Christmas time.
Parents Judd Day, 33, and Jade Wass, 26, who are parents of two, were living in their Ford Focus near Middlesbrough and washing in supermarket sinks or the sea until they were contacted by someone who gave them a caravan.
But to get inside they have to climb through a tiny window as the doors don’t open from outside.
The couple had moved to Birmingham to be closer to Judd’s family, but encountered issues with their flat that prompted them to move back to their hometown in the North East in September.
They thought they would be rehoused into new accommodation after the move, but complications with Middleborough Council have left them stuck without a home.
Now, they have resorted to begging for money on the streets of Middlesbrough to get by.
Speaking to the Sun Online, Jade said she thinks the pair would still be in the same situation for Christmas, though they hoped by then they would have another option.
“We’ve even begged the council to put us in emergency accommodation which they did for two nights before making us leave,” she said.
Jade said it was “embarrassing” seeing people coming past and looking and laughing at them in their car.
“They should put themselves in our position and see how they feel,” she said.
She earlier said she and Judd had to spend £15-20 a day on petrol to get around to buy food and to have the engine on at night.
They survived off takeaways, sandwiches and coffee from places like Greggs and their local bakers, having two meals a day at the most.
Judd said he has had Covid symptoms for a few days but lacked anywhere to properly isolate. As a result, he said, he was still going out into the community buying hot drinks and food.
The money the couple received in benefit payments – £500 for the two of them plus an extra £348 for Judd, who had been categorised as having a limited capability for work – only lasted around two and a half weeks.
This left them to scrounge for change for the remainder of the month.
Without a house, they were unable to properly tidy themselves up, Judd said, but they didn’t have the funds for a long-term stay in a B&B.
While police had knocked on the couple’s windows telling them to move their car on, local residents had been more supportive, the pair said.
Meanwhile, the couple’s two children, aged three and six, were staying with relatives, seeing their mum and dad just once a fortnight.
Jade said the situation was “killing” her.
“Judd is on a limited capability work part where he can’t work because of his mental health issues and difficulties,” she explained.
“I can’t work either because I have bad back problems after a serious car accident so medically I can’t.”
Judd said they had bought body sprays and shampoos and had gone into Morrisons to wash.
But they were wearing pairs of socks for three days, because they had no washer.
If they were sorted with a house and had their dole money, they would be able to go and get proper shopping in.