Hackney Town Hall

Hackney Town Hall

A homeless mother and her four young children were turfed out of a council building and left to sleep on the cold streets last month.

Council staff then locked up Hackney Service Centre while the young family wrapped themselves in blankets on 15 March – just weeks after the council published No First Night Out, a tri-borough report to prevent residents from turning to rough sleeping.

The mother, who preferred not to be named, told the Citizen she and her eldest child, aged just seven, were manhandled out of the building after being told to come back in two weeks.

A council spokesperson said: “The family came to the service centre reporting as homeless because they had been asked to leave the flat they had been living in. However, that night they returned to their family member’s home.”

But the council had previously ordered the mother to obtain an eviction notice from that family member to prove she and her children had been evicted.

She was only able to return that evening after a passerby stopped to help and put her in touch with emergency social services, who negotiated another night’s stay with the family member.

The council spokesperson said its housing advice and homeless services are meeting the family this week to work for a resolution.

They did not address the family being thrown out of the service centre.

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