Monday, August 24, 2009

Letter to the Duke of Norfolk

Declan has just written to the Duke of Norfolk Edward Fitzalan-Howard, who is Patron of Providence Row, prior to lodging a formal complaint against the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy with the Archbishop of Westminster, His Grace Archbishop Vincent Nichols, on the grounds of unlawful discrimination. For the record, this is the email letter:

Subject: My complaint against the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy

Dear Duke of Norfolk,

As I outlined in my previous correspondence to you as the patron of Providence Row run by the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, my wife and I were denied access to food in the Dellow Centre of Providence Row on 19 August because, according to a Providence Row letter of 18 August, our "room/flat" is deemed by the charity "to be stable accommodation". I can confirm that this morning I have once again written to the Chief Executive of Providence Row, Mrs. Jo Ansell, requesting that the Providence Row charity acknowledge the following facts in respect of our unstable circumstances, having been rough sleepers for more than two and a half years (from 3 November 2006 to 13 July 2009):

(1) We have a three-month Shorthold Tenancy Agreement dated 14 July 2009 and no rent book;

(2) Our first week's rent was paid by Dr. James H. Fetzer, Distinguished McKnight Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota, because Haringey Council refused to pay rent prior to the first Monday after my claim for housing benefit was made;

(3) The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has lost my wife's National Insurance Number (NINO) and Broadway Homelessness and Support have been waiting for the letter of invitation for the NINO reallocation appointment since 27 July;

(4) We have received a total of £230 in crisis loans from the DWP since 20 July 2009 while waiting for my joint claim for Jobseeker's Allowance to be processed.

You will note that I am taking the time to once again copy the Archbishop of Westminster, His Grace Archbishop Vincent Nichols, into my current situation. As you are aware, I will be lodging forthwith a formal complaint against the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy with Archbishop Nichols on the grounds of unlawful discrimination.

Yours sincerely,

Declan Heavey

cc His Grace Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster
Sr. Coirle McCarthy, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Mercy
Alderman Sir Michael Oliver, Vice President of Providence Row
Mr. Simon Bartley, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Providence Row
Mr. Howard Sinclair, Chief Executive of Broadway Homelessness and Support
Mrs. Jo Ansell, Chief Executive of Providence Row