Monday, November 2

No roof above your head

The rain strikes the trees forcefully, the wind blows away the flimsy piece of cloth protecting Ali Sakhafi, his young wife and 4 children from the winter storm.

Last thursday Ali's home was demolished by the municipality and the family found itself out n the streets.

Ali is a construction worker who got laid off a few months ago, when the company he worked for went bankrupt. Prior to the bankruptcy Ai did not receive three salaries and the employer did not pay national insurance deductions for him. As a result, Ali is not eligible for unemployment money, as he does not meet the stringent criteria. The family has no income at all.

Ali is not eligible for rent subsidy either because he was married before and he used to be a home owner. Only, the court gave the previous home to his ex-wife and their children. But if your were a home owner in the past, you can no longer qualify for rent subsidy. Simple, straightforward and totally stupid.

Unable to pay the rent after he became unemployed, Ali constructed a tiny home with the help of some friends. Small, simple but adequate. As a construction worker he had the knowledge and experience. He and his friends had time as well, the company closed down after all.  The municipality destroyed that home  last thursday.
The family have 4 young children, one of them a baby. They have nowhere to go and are desperate. I'm trying to imagine what it is like to put a baby in its cradle in this cold, the rain coming through.

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