Homeless boy fears he'll be left without presents this Christmas

‘How is Santa going to find me if we are homeless?’ Eight-year-old boy fears he’ll be left without presents this year after he and his mother were evicted from their home and went to live in a hotel

  • They were evicted from their rented home after the landlord decided to sell up 
  • Marcel has learning difficulties and a global development delay

A mother has revealed how her eight year old son asked her ‘how is Santa going to find us if we are homeless?’ after they were evicted and forced to move into a hotel.

Widowed Sarah, whose son Marcel has learning difficulties, told the BBC how they were kicked out of their rented flat because the landlord decided to sell up.

Now, they are waiting for Cardiff Council to find them somewhere permanent to live.

Sarah and Marcel, 8, are jut one of many families who face spending Christmas in a hotel room 

The council said it had a ‘good supply’ of temporary accommodation for 1,700 families. 

But due to ‘unprecedented demand’ for accommodation, more than 200 have had to be housed in five hotels across the city. 

Speaking to the BBC, Sarah said: ‘No kid should ever say that, they shouldn’t have to worry about Christmas and whether he’s going to get presents or not.’

The video unveiled the hotel room where Sarah and Marcel are currently staying, showing a shared bed and belongings cluttering the shelves.

Sarah went on to say that Marcel has a global development delay and learning difficulties and without routine he ‘goes haywire’, with ‘meltdown over meltdown’.

Sarah and Marcel were evicted from their previous rented home after the landlord decided to sell up

Sarah told the BBC that no child should have to worry about whether they’re going to get Christmas presents

She told the BBC: ‘He doesn’t really sleep that much because he wakes up scared a lot in the night because of the banging and that, people moving around in a hotel’.

Marcel doesn’t like the dark and wakes up in the night screaming.

Cardiff Council said they were prioritising those in hotels to have them moved.

The Council recently declared it was facing an emergency housing situation, with ‘exceptional pressures’ and ‘unabating’ demand for homelessness services.

Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Councillor Lynda Thorne, told a recent meeting of Full Council that the city was experiencing an ‘incredibly challenging’ time.

But, she said, the Welsh capital was not alone with other major cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh also declaring a housing emergency.

‘Cardiff is at the eye of the storm of this issue in Wales,’ Councillor Thorne said. ‘It’s the most challenging time for housing in decades.

‘We’re doing everything in our power to find a solution and a range of actions are being proposed to relieve these pressures.’

According to the Welsh Government, there were 1,602 occurrences of homeless people placed into temporary accommodation as of September 2023.

Of these, 397 were dependent children aged under 16.

In August 2023, 648 homeless people were moved into long-term accommodation, 39 fewer than in July 2023. 

Of these, 241 were dependent children aged under 16.

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