A GRIEVING mum says her family will be homeless for Christmas after being kicked out on the day of her partner's funeral.
Sarah Ryan, 36, claims she was told to leave the home she's lived in with her partner of 17 years after he tragically died from cancer back in August.
And it means that the mum and her four children – who range from the ages of four to 13 – could effectively be homeless during Christmas.
Sarah says they have been told by their council that due to the wait for housing, if they can't find anywhere to stay, they'll be put in a hotel without cooking facilities indefinitely.
Her partner, Michael Grey, was diagnosed with retroperitoneal sarcoma in the summer of 2021 and was told the illness would be terminal.
Michael passed away from the rare cancer on August 23 this year, leaving behind his devastated partner and four young children.
He had previously owned the house they shared in Droylsden, Manchester, but on the day of his funeral, Sarah claims she received a letter from the joint owner of the property informing her she was being evicted.
After attending a court hearing at Manchester Civil Justice Centre on Monday 21 November, the mum was told she has 28 days to vacate the property – and find somewhere else to live.
Speaking to MEN, Sarah said: "We are homeless. The stress of it all is making me ill. My mental health is deteriorating and my son has learning difficulties so he's really struggling.
"I have spoken to Tameside Council and they are so backlogged that I won't be on the system for months. They are saying I'll likely have to be placed in an emergency hotel with no cooking facilities where I could stay for up to two years."
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Sarah says her mum has offered to help but only has one spare bedroom available for the five of them.
After losing half of the family's income following Michael's death, the worried mum says she can't afford to pay for a deposit on a new property.
Her friends have since rallied round to help Sarah get back on her feet in time for the Christmas period.
"I've got Christmas coming up and three of my children's birthdays are in December," she said. "There are days at the moment where I can't even get out of bed because my mental health is so bad.
"I've not even had a chance to grieve for my partner because I'm so concerned about my children. It's likely we'll be staying in an emergency hotel this Christmas."
Sarah also spoke of the difficulties she endured when Michael was ill, looking after the kids while being his carer.
"He started having hip pain in July last year but when he went to the doctors they did blood tests but they were normal.
"They thought it might be IBS so gave him a CT scan which revealed he had a tumour that was 16.5cm in length. It had already killed one of his kidneys and doctors were unable to operate.
"After his second round of chemotherapy they did another scan and it showed that the tumour had doubled and he had months to live. I was looking after four kids whilst being his carer."
A spokesman for Tameside Council said: "The Council works hard to prevent homelessness and the earlier we are informed of issues the more we can do to help.
"In cases where the courts are involved, we ask for copies of the court documents so that we can assess if there are any steps that can be taken to appeal or delay the eviction date.
"We will provide all the support we can and Welfare Rights will also provide support and representation.
"The options we can offer in such cases include negotiating with the existing landlord, help to secure alternative private rented accommodation and advice on applying to registered providers.
"Where the Council is not able to help using these tools, then the applicant has a statutory right to make a homeless application.
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"In some circumstances, the Council does use B&B accommodation though there would always be a suitability assessment to ensure it is suitable for the applicant and their family.
"At the moment in Tameside, B&B use is minimal and applicants are either being offered self-contained Temporary Accommodation at the point of application, or where B&B is used, the stay is below 4 weeks."
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