A young mother made homeless after she fled domestic abuse says Croydon Council treated her with "no compassion" when she went to them for help.

Since leaving privately rented accommodation shared with her partner in 2015 due to abuse, Natasha Morais, 27, has bounced between temporary housing and family members with her four-year-old son Kazim.

Earlier this month she was forced to sleep in her car after it was no longer possible for her to stay at her step-father's South Norwood home.

When she previously went to Bernard Weatherill House for assistance late last month, Ms Morais says housing staff refused to meet her face-to-face, only speaking to her "disrespectfully" over the reception phone.

"The woman I spoke to gave me no compassion," she said.

"She was part of the triage team for the homeless unit, one of the first points of contact, but she just kept on hanging up on me when I asked to meet someone.

"After speaking to her manager I was able to get an appointment on June 13. They could only suggest I visit a homeless shelter before then.

"They treated me with no respect, as if I was nothing."

Last Tuesday, she was thrown out by her step-father when the strain of housing both Ms Morais and her son along with his elderly mother became too much.

While Kazim was able to stay with a school friend, Ms Morais had no option but to stay in her Vauxhall Corsa for the night.

"I stayed up most of the night. The heating doesn't work so I was cold. I felt defeated.

"It's definitely taken a toll on my mental health. I suffer from PTSD and severe anxiety."

After contacting her local MP, Steve Reed, she heard back from the Council's complaints team by email on Thursday, who told her she had become a high priority.

She has since been placed in temporary accommodation, a change in circumstance she believes would not have occurred without her MP's intervention.

"I'm 100% sure I'd still be in my car if I hadn't gone to my MP. I should be able to utilise services I'm entitled to without have to battle for them," she said.

A council spokesman said: “We always work to find suitable accommodation as soon as possible for anyone presenting as homeless, and top priority goes to people who we know are at immediate risk of sleeping rough.

“We arranged the earliest possible appointment after Ms Morais first presented to us on 30 May, and once she told us about a further change in her circumstances on 5 June we placed her and her son somewhere suitable within days despite huge demand for temporary accommodation.”