139,000 children are expected to be homeless this Christmas
A homeless boy has said he is scared that Father Christmas won’t be able to find him this year after he and his mum were evicted.
Marcel, eight, and his widowed mum Sarah were moved into a hotel room by Cardiff council after they were evicted from their rented flat when their landlord sold up.
The youngster, who has severe learning difficulties, does not understand why he no longer has his own bedroom, and told his mum he was worried about how Santa would find them this Christmas.
Sarah was left heartbroken after her son asked her: “How will Santa find me if I’m homeless?”
She told the BBC: “No kid should ever say that. He shouldn’t have to worry about whether he’s going to get presents or not.”
The mum explained that the two of them had shared a small hotel room in Cardiff for the last three months, but that the living situation has been distressing for Marcel.
She said: “Without his routine, he just goes haywire. Meltdown over meltdown, he kicks off and gets angry.”
Sarah explained that her son often wakes up screaming and is scared by the sounds of people moving about in the hotel.
The mother and son aren’t allowed visitors or pets either, with Marcel saying this makes things “a little bit lonely.”
They’ve been waiting for the council to find them somewhere permanent to live.
Cardiff council said it had temporary accommodation for 1,700 households but that it was facing “unprecedented demand” which had forced them to house 202 further households in five hotels across the city.
The council said it was prioritising moves for those currently in hotels, wherever possible.
Welsh government Housing Minister Julie Jame has labelled the temporary accommodation waits as a “health crisis”, adding that the government was working as “fast as we absolutely can to get the transitional accommodation programme up and running.”
The latest figures predict that 139,000 children in England will wake up without a home on Christmas Day. This is up 14 per cent on last year and is a record high.