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King's Lynn woman who has cerebral-palsy and is homeless says housing situation is 'jeopardising the sobriety' she worked so hard for after cleaning up from weed, coke and alcohol



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A woman with cerebral-palsy feels “let down” and “isolated” by the council after six months at St James Lodge.

Samantha Jane Guymer, 32, pictured, was living with an ex-partner before she became homeless earlier this year, and says her lack of housing is “jeopardising her sobriety”, something she has “worked incredibly hard for”.

Ms Guymer, who uses a wheelchair or crutches most days, said she is “living amongst drug addicts” and despite the best efforts of her support worker the council have been unable to provide her with suitable accommodation for her needs.

Samantha Jane Guymer, has an array of disabilities including cerebral palsy which means she needs specific living conditions. She is currently at St James Lodge in Lynn (57569806)
Samantha Jane Guymer, has an array of disabilities including cerebral palsy which means she needs specific living conditions. She is currently at St James Lodge in Lynn (57569806)
Samantha Jane Guymer, has an array of disabilities including cerebral palsy which means she needs specific living conditions. She is currently at St James Lodge in Lynn (57569803)
Samantha Jane Guymer, has an array of disabilities including cerebral palsy which means she needs specific living conditions. She is currently at St James Lodge in Lynn (57569803)
Samantha Jane Guymer, has an array of disabilities including cerebral palsy which means she needs specific living conditions. She is currently at St James Lodge in Lynn (57569800)
Samantha Jane Guymer, has an array of disabilities including cerebral palsy which means she needs specific living conditions. She is currently at St James Lodge in Lynn (57569800)

She said: “I don’t have the right kind of bath or toilet, can’t reach half of the cupboards and more importantly I’m surrounded by drug addicts that jeopardises my sobriety.

“I used to smoke weed, drink and take cocaine and I’ve been eight months sober.

“My new partner has been a huge support and I don’t want to give in to temptation, I’ve done so well and just want to start a new life.”

St James Lodge, which is on Hospital Walk in Lynn, is designed to provide short- and medium-term lodging for homeless people and consists of 20 flats and studios.

They have been contacted for comment regarding the drug use on the premises and by residents.

Samantha Jane Guymer, has an array of disabilities including cerebral palsy which means she needs specific living conditions and a specialist toilet. She is currently at St James Lodge in Lynn (57569812)
Samantha Jane Guymer, has an array of disabilities including cerebral palsy which means she needs specific living conditions and a specialist toilet. She is currently at St James Lodge in Lynn (57569812)
Samantha Jane Guymer, has an array of disabilities including cerebral palsy which means she needs specific living conditions and disabled stairs with a ramp. She is currently at St James Lodge in Lynn (57569791)
Samantha Jane Guymer, has an array of disabilities including cerebral palsy which means she needs specific living conditions and disabled stairs with a ramp. She is currently at St James Lodge in Lynn (57569791)
Samantha Jane Guymer, has an array of disabilities including cerebral palsy which means she needs specific living conditions. She is currently at St James Lodge in Lynn (57569824)
Samantha Jane Guymer, has an array of disabilities including cerebral palsy which means she needs specific living conditions. She is currently at St James Lodge in Lynn (57569824)

Ms Guymer has been offered accommodation in both Southery and Watlington, something she said would leave her “isolated” and would be “totally impracticable”, as she doesn’t drive.

She said: “It feels like a joke, how would I be able to reach the shops in Southery or get help if I need? At least in Lynn I would have support for my needs, I just don’t feel the council are taking me seriously.

“Being sober isn’t easy, and my lifestyle before led me to decide to quit everything and sort myself out - but being shoved out at Watlington or somewhere means that might going to happen, as I have so many additional needs.

“Transport would really be an issue as well as costly.”

The council have pointed out that cases like Ms Guymer’s are not unique, and due to a short supply of properties in the area those in need are “experiencing difficulties”.

They say they have gone “above and beyond” with housing, and recognises that demand in the borough has increased.

Samantha Jane Guymer, has an array of disabilities including cerebral palsy which means she needs specific living conditions. She is currently at St James Lodge in Lynn (57569815)
Samantha Jane Guymer, has an array of disabilities including cerebral palsy which means she needs specific living conditions. She is currently at St James Lodge in Lynn (57569815)
Samantha Jane Guymer, has an array of disabilities including cerebral palsy which means she needs specific living conditions. She is currently at St James Lodge in Lynn (57569809)
Samantha Jane Guymer, has an array of disabilities including cerebral palsy which means she needs specific living conditions. She is currently at St James Lodge in Lynn (57569809)

However, the council, due to confidentiality reasons, can not comment on Ms Guymer’s case personally.

A council spokesperson said: “People across this area in every sort of circumstance are experiencing difficulties in finding a home because the demand for properties is outstripping supply.

“The council has a number of roles and duties, from preventing homelessness to the provision of new housing of all tenures to address housing need in the borough.

“We are acutely aware of the difficulties people face and the pressures that demand is putting on the availability of housing.

“As a council we are doing everything we can to address people’s need and in fact we are delivering over and above our responsibilities because we develop homes directly including homes for sale, for private rent, and affordable housing.

“We know there is more to do and we are also looking at ways we can do even more by working with partners to relieve the shortage of housing in the short, medium and long term.”

Ms Guymer’s future currently remains unclear, as she navigates her new sober life within an environment of temptation.

Her support worker is contacting the necessary agencies to acquire help and housing.

She told of noise complaints and issues with neighbours during her drug and alcohol use phase and said “I don’t want to go back to that.”

12-step programmes such as AA strongly recommend that recovering addicts are supported within the first year, as instances of re-apse are higher during this time.



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