Homeless woman's hunger strike outside Eastbourne council offices

A homeless woman has been on hunger strike outside Eastbourne Borough Council offices today (Monday, April 3).

Monday, 3rd April 2017, 5:58 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 8:20 pm
Meg Ainsworth protesting outside the council

Meg Ainsworth, 69, says she is protesting about her treatment by the council after being unable to find suitable accommodation.

She said, “I’m going on hunger strike until they house me or I die outside.

“I have got to do this – this is it. I don’t want to live like this any more.”

Ms Ainsworth said she left her accommodation last year because she was being bullied by other residents.

She said, “A group of people bullied me and made my life hell and swore and spat at me.

“I kept pleading with the council to get me out there. They said it’s that or the streets.

“I had no option, I had to get out of there, my doctor kept telling me to get out.

“So 18 months ago I gave a month’s notice and walked out. And now the council won’t help me because they say I have made myself intentionally homeless.”

She said she had since had to live in her car for five months last year and stay in refuges.

And now she is asking for a one-bedroom flat to stay in. She says the council has offered her a room in the centre of town but she cannot accept because she gets anxiety attacks from being in a busy area around a lot of people.

She said, “I don’t want to resort to these measures, it’s so humiliating, but I don’t stand a chance of anything at the moment.

“I won’t go down that road again, they’re not going to put me in a dark little corner. They let me go through hell before.

“I’d rather die outside the council than in my car.”

An Eastbourne Borough Council spokesperson said, “We have given Ms Ainsworth two offers of accommodation but unfortunately these were both refused.

“The council will continue to do everything it can to help and assist Ms Ainsworth.”