A disturbing message from Renzy Planchon. A 22-year-old man who grew up in Zottegem and ended up on the street due to a terrible twist of fate. He asks for help. A friend of Renzy’s describes his situation.
“Hello, I would like to make a call through you to help a friend of mine with a disability! He is sent from closet to wall by government agencies and it is distressing to see this. If I could do more myself, I would be happy to do so, but I myself have my back against the wall and you are our last hope! I have asked him to send his story to me since he has no money to top up his phone or can properly use the internet. I myself helped him financially here and there, but due to the ongoing crisis and with everything becoming more expensive, it is also difficult for me to make ends meet.”
“I am Renzy Planchon, 22 years old and I have a physical disability, Cerebral Palsy or a posture and movement disorder caused by damage to the brain. I am therefore in a wheelchair because my legs are severely affected and I cannot walk or stand properly. I lived in Zottegem with my mother and her boyfriend for more than 10 years. Due to a very difficult home situation that has dragged on for years, I now live on the street! Communication did not always go smoothly, which led to a fight and if my parents got too much, I was kicked out on the street. Years ago, when I was still in school, I still had backup because the school had a boarding school. Towards the end of my school period I was in boarding school 24/7 because the home situation was untenable. After my school period I worked alternately, but that did not always go smoothly. When I had a fight at home and I was kicked out, I often took the train from Zottegem to the other side of the country so that I could sleep on the train. I then stayed overnight in the station and then took the first train back to Zottegem. If I had a job, I sometimes went straight to work after this. Due to my disability and home situation, I often had to change jobs. The last few months I worked for a call center in Ghent. For this I had to take the belbus every morning at 6.30 am in the neighborhood to be in Ghent at least at 8 am and I was back home by 7:30 pm. I did that every day. However, at the end of May I was kicked out again at home. I then made a connection with the bus driver and asked him if I could not go to him for one night. He felt that it was not a real solution to my situation and with my permission made the decision to contact authorities so that I could get real help. That same day he took me to the CAW in Ghent where I could stay temporarily and stayed there for a month. They then declared a state of emergency so that I can get help “quickly”, but everything takes a long time and is very slow. After this I was referred to Zorgdorpen in Deinze. The situation only got worse when I lost my job. My disability also deteriorated quickly because I was not given the necessary care. I am now even more bound to my wheelchair and can barely walk. I could no longer pay my bills and was also kicked out of the care institution. I was then forced to return home, but it only took a few days before it all started again. I then went all the way from Zottegem to the emergency department of UZ Gent in the hope that I could get help there. The day after I was allowed to go to the night shelter in Aalst of the CAW where I have to sit outside during the day from 9 am to 8 pm. There’s no place for me there either. I sleep there among the elderly homeless, alcoholics and drug users. In between all that time I also applied for a living wage through the OCMW, but since this has not yet been confirmed, it is difficult to eat or drink. September 12 I had to attend a meeting in Brussels to get a personal budget. However, that only lasted 7 minutes and I was not able to say what I wanted and I was unable to explain my situation to the jury. The chances are very slim that I will get it. If it does get approved, it will take months before I get it, so I can’t go on and have to live on the street. It’s mentally difficult to stay upright, I don’t know where to or where from! I am making a call for this through you, to listen to the listeners if they have a solution, if they have shelter for me or if they know what I can do. I’m all alone! Renzy Planchon 0493/69.15.59”