"I was scared for my life": Disabled teenager forced to sleep at Bedford train station after struggling to get help from council

She says every week, she’s being ‘messed about’
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A disabled teenager from Bedford says she's being forced to sleep at the train station after being ‘messed about’ by the council.

The young woman is only 18 and has been homeless since May – but in that time, says she has struggled to get help.

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So much so, she’s be forced to make the frightening decision to sleep rough in Bedford train station on multiple occasions.

However, the teen – who has asked to be anonymous – is also disabled as she’s blind in one eye and is diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

She said: “Every week they seem to be messing me about. The council haven’t taken into consideration my mental health conditions.

"They have left me for a number of nights to sleep in Bedford train station. I was scared for my life.

“I haven’t slept properly for weeks. I haven’t had a hot meal for two weeks.”

She had been temporarily housed in the Travelodge at Bedford Heights but keeps being moved on each time it becomes fully booked.

To add further complications, the teenager also has a dog for mental health support, which she says the council is fully aware of, and also needs to stay in Bedford for hospital appointments.

She said: “Today they just offered me Toddington with no way of getting there. I said, ‘I can’t – it’s too far out.’

"So it looks like it’s train station again tonight.”

Desperate, the young woman – who says the entire experience has left her feeling like a tramp – added: “I don’t know if I’m being petty but I think it’s disgusting how I’m being treated. I feel like ending it all to be honest.”

A Bedford Borough Council spokesperson confirmed it was unable to comment on individual cases for reasons of confidentiality.

But did say: “Becoming homeless is distressing for anyone and the council is currently providing emergency or temporary accommodation for over 600 homeless households.

"We provide the most suitable accommodation possible for each household but at present, due to the high level of demand, anyone requiring emergency accommodation is likely to be offered accommodation in a hotel, and this may not always be in the borough. Where we place people away from the borough we will provide transport for them to get there and also for any essential requirements, such as attending medical appointments.

“Sometimes we do need to move people to alternative hotels because hotel rooms in Bedford have been pre-booked by the public, particularly where there are events such as the Kite Festival or Proms In The Park.

“Unfortunately, due to the risk of pets causing damage in hotel rooms, the council is not able to take responsibility for pets being allowed to stay in a hotel. However, many hotels do allow their guest to bring their pet, subject to them paying a small one-off fee and agreeing to meet the cost of any damage caused by the pet.”