A WOMAN who is just two weeks away from giving birth is sleeping in a tent behind a Bournemouth church, a soup kitchen founder has said.
Claire Matthews, who runs Hope for Food, spoke out just days after news that a two-month-old boy forced to sleep in a car with his homeless parents had died. She said the pregnant woman – who wished to be referred to as ‘Jan’ to protect her identity – simply needs support and a roof over her head.
The two previously had a bedsit in the Triangle, but were made homeless over rent arrears that Jan said had been notched up by Paul’s ex-partner. She added that she had been offered accommodation in a mother and baby unit in Bournemouth – but that she wanted to stay a family.
“I have borderline personality disorder, and I find it really hard to be on my own,” she said. “Paul’s the father and he wants to be a real dad. We just need somewhere to go so we can be together.”
Every morning, the couple take down their tent and put their belongings into bushes around the church grounds so they won’t be stolen.
Jan is set to be induced at Poole Hospital in a fortnight. The baby – a son – will be her first. But she said she’s been unable to enjoy her pregnancy over fears of what will happen when the child is born. “I either go into a mother and baby unit without the man I love or my baby goes into care,” she said.