Scotland: disabled woman sleeps on garden furniture after losing her home

Rose Strain lives in a nearly empty apartment after losing her apartment to an infestation (Photo: Newsquest / SWNS)

A disabled woman was reduced to sleeping on patio furniture after being moved to an empty apartment.

Rose Strain was forced to leave her home because of a mite infestation and had to be placed in sheltered accommodation.

The 61-year-old was relieved to be offered a place after being forced to take to the streets, but was shocked when she realized she lacked basic amenities like a bed, stove and a microwave.

Now she says she suffers from debilitating back pain due to her improvised sleeping arrangement involving three chairs close together.

Link Housing Association, which provides the apartment in South Lanarkshire, said it was working to find more suitable accommodation for its tenant.

Rose said: “I slept on two chairs close together. I recently fell ill with a lung infection and when the paramedics arrived they took me to the hospital for 10 days because of my housing conditions.

“I think they wanted me to sleep. They have helped me more than social work has done so far.


ONLINE EMBARGO UNTIL 6 PM Rose Strain pictured in her kitchen at her Cambuslang home.  There is no stove or refrigerator.  Rose keeps her milk in a cupboard.  Rose was moved from homeless accommodation to an apartment in Cambuslang with nothing.  See the story of SWNS SWSCbed.  A disabled woman recounted how she was forced to sleep on two chairs close together due to the allocation of unfurnished social housing.  Rose Strain, 61, was moved to sheltered accommodation after a mite infestation ruined her previous home.  She found herself homeless eight weeks ago and moved to an apartment maintained by the Link Housing Association.  There was no bed or stove, Rose having to improvise a place to sleep with a lounger and two chairs.
Rose is forced to keep milk in the cupboard because the apartment does not have a refrigerator (Photo: Newsquest / SWNS)

“It has been a really horrible and dark chapter for me. I have never needed help in my life until now.

“I turned to social work, but they just shut the door on me and didn’t want to know. I had no help at all.

“My last house was beautiful – I had it so beautiful and I had so many beautiful things.

“All is lost now and I have nothing left. I didn’t even have help putting clothes on my back.

Diabetes left Rose with a leg problem that made it difficult to get up and down the stairs.

Her desperation to find accommodation has led her to accept an apartment on the first floor, but this makes her life a daily struggle and she is afraid to use the stairlift.

She said: “I was finally offered two apartments – one was on the ground floor and the other on the first floor.


ONLINE EMBARGO UNTIL 6 PM Rose Strain pictured in the bedroom of her apartment in Cambuslang.  She does not have a suitable bed and sleeps in the living room on a makeshift bed consisting of a lounge chair and two chairs.  Rose was moved from homeless accommodation to an apartment in Cambuslang with nothing.  See the story of SWNS SWSCbed.  A disabled woman recounted how she was forced to sleep on two chairs close together due to the allocation of unfurnished social housing.  Rose Strain, 61, was moved to sheltered accommodation after a mite infestation ruined her previous home.  She found herself homeless eight weeks ago and moved to an apartment maintained by the Link Housing Association.  There was no bed or stove, Rose having to improvise a place to sleep with a lounger and two chairs.
She was relieved to find a place to live after finding herself unexpectedly homeless, but says the apartment provided to her makes her life miserable (Photo: Newsquest / SWNS)

“Because of my legs, I obviously wanted the one on the ground.

“Housing said there was still work to be done and it would take a few weeks before they could complete it.

“It is now winter and it is very cold – I couldn’t really wait any longer and needed a roof over my head so I had to choose the first floor apartment. . “

She added: “The stairlift in my new block absolutely terrifies me, every time I use it I think it’s going to break.

“When I finally get back to my apartment, I sit there with nothing in it.

“There is no microwave, fridge, freezer, furniture or anything. It’s a full shell and it’s meant to be sheltered housing.


ONLINE EMBARGO UNTIL 6 PM Rose Strain photographed in her makeshift bed in her living room.  The bed consists of a lounge chair and two chairs.  Rose was moved from homeless accommodation to an apartment in Cambuslang with nothing.  See the story of SWNS SWSCbed.  A disabled woman recounted how she was forced to sleep on two chairs close together due to the allocation of unfurnished social housing.  Rose Strain, 61, was moved to sheltered accommodation after a mite infestation ruined her previous home.  She found herself homeless eight weeks ago and moved to an apartment maintained by the Link Housing Association.  There was no bed or stove, Rose having to improvise a place to sleep with a lounger and two chairs.
Rose’s improvised sleeping facility left her with back pain (Photo: Newsquest / SWNS)

A spokesperson for Link Housing said: “Ms Strain moved into the Peel Court property on October 15, she was offered a ground floor and first floor property – Ms Strain chose the property from the first floor and the social service confirmed that this would be suitable for his needs.

“A member of our housing team spoke with Ms. Strain on November 17th and, following that conversation, is working closely with her to help allocate a new home.

“Our homes do not usually come with appliances or furniture, however, in this case, Link will arrange for the supply and installation of a new stove and a new bed for Mrs. Strain until a new home can be assigned. “

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