Homeless mother and daughter, seven, find new home just before Christmas

A mother who was out on the streets with her seven-year-old daughter managed to find a flat just in time for Christmas.

Kirsty McKeown and her daughter were left stranded at Hull train station on Christmas Eve with all their possession in plastic bags.

The pair managed to spend a night in the Double Tree by Hilton thanks to the Raise the Roof project, but Hull City Council moved them out on Christmas Day to a bed and breakfast in Spring Bank.

Now the Project Hotdog Hull Homeless Support stepped in and managed to find a private tenancy so that Ms McKeown and her daughter can start their lives in Hull.

Kirsty McKeown and her daughter was left stranded at Hull train station on Christmas Eve with all their possession in plastic bags

Kirsty McKeown and her daughter was left stranded at Hull train station on Christmas Eve with all their possession in plastic bags

Kirsty McKeown and her daughter was left stranded at Hull train station on Christmas Eve with all their possession in plastic bags

Staff at the charity were able to put in calls and secure her Ms McKeown a six-month lease and put up the money for the deposit and initial rent within 15 minutes.  

Ms McKeown said: ‘I will try and find work as soon as possible. I can get back to working on the screen play I have been writing and do some volunteer work to help others who are in the situation we have found ourselves in.

‘My daughter will now have her own bedroom. This means she can now go to school, make friends and have a normal life.’

She has once again asked for the the people of Hull to help her out again as she needs need furniture and clothing to turn their house into a home.

She said: ‘It is a two-bedroom property in west Hull and I am over-the-moon. We spent our first proper night for a long time in safe in a warm house even those we had to spend it in sleeping bags.

‘I couldn’t get my daughter out of the bath on Friday morning and it is fantastic. It has been refurbished and new carpets have been fitted along with a new cooker.’ 

She added: ‘We have already received donations such as plates and bedding but there is still quite a lot we need.

‘We could really do with some furniture, such as beds and chairs, and it would be great to have a television in my daughter’s room.’

Social services are now working to ensure Ms McKeown and her daughter are able to get on with their lives.  

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The priority will be to get her daughter into school and find work but, for now, they are settling into their new home well.

Ms McKeown said: ‘Now I can get my daughter to school which is just round the corner and I am already making friends. The neighbours are lovely. I could not be happier.

‘I would just like to thank the people of Hull who have helped me so much.’

Ms McKeown had been initially told she would have to leave Hull and return south where she is registered for benefits.

She previously said: ‘I have nothing down there and it will put us in a far worse situation. I have connections here in Hull and employment prospects. I feel I could be an asset to this city.’

A few months earlier, Ms McKeown had been running her own food project to help those most in need only to find herself in desperate need.

Homeless people on the streets of Hull receive some good will as the Raise the Roof project run by local businessman Carl Simpson signs them in to the Double Tree by Hilton for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Homeless people on the streets of Hull receive some good will as the Raise the Roof project run by local businessman Carl Simpson signs them in to the Double Tree by Hilton for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Homeless people on the streets of Hull receive some good will as the Raise the Roof project run by local businessman Carl Simpson signs them in to the Double Tree by Hilton for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

After she was evicted from a traveller site in Northampton, Ms McKeown travelled to Hull after her ex-boyfriend invited her there – only to be told she could not stay with him because the accommodation is run by the Mind charity.

Facing being on the streets once again, Ms McKeown and her daughter passed the Project Hotdog Hull Homeless Support café in Spring Bank on Boxing Day.  

Ms McKeown said: ‘They took us in and fed us and gave us a food parcel but we still felt in a desperate situation. I was determined to go to the council office on Thursday and not move until something was sorted.’   

A spokesman for Project Hotdog insisted they are concerned only with helping Kirsty and her daughter in the long term.

He said: ‘We don’t really want any publicity but we cannot have a seven-year-old girl living on the streets.

‘We managed to find private accommodation and the landlord is aware of the situation with Universal Credit. We will be paying the initial fees and deposit so Kirsty can get back on her feet.’

Anyone who feels they can help with any donations can visit the Project Hotdog Facebook page. 

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