Helping someone off the streets is not as simple as just providing a roof over their head. Becs was referred to our 52 bed hostel, Phase One, in April 2013 having lost her accommodation. She had previously had her own independent tenancies but these had broken down due to rent arrears which had led to her entering a negative cycle and her engagement with support services had decreased.
Her physical health was poor due to her long-term alcohol and drug addiction which had also impacted her psychological well-being as she had been struggling with establishing positive sleep patterns causing her to feel depressed.
When she came to Phase One she wanted to work towards again getting her own independent accommodation and to re-establish contact with her son. Although she had previously struggled with engaging with keyworkers and external services, she accepted that this could be a fresh start for her to make positive goal orientated changes to achieve her overall aspirations. She was offered a place at the service and moved in later that month.
Due to the difficulties that Becs had experienced in forming a positive relationship with her previous keyworkers, the early work focused on establishing a positive working relationship which she led and was outcomes focused so that she could acknowledge positive change. As the relationship developed with her keyworker, her substance use issues stabilised and she re-engaged with treatment from Pavilions (a local drug and alcohol service).
With her substance use issues stabilised, Becs was able to begin to focus on her long-term goal of meeting the criteria for accommodation and she began to engage with in-house activities to build structure and routine into her day which led to an improvement in her mental well-being.
She continued to make steady progress, and she continued to reduce her drug and alcohol use to a maintenance level. She applied successfully for a place in the projects pre-tenancy flat (the last step before being supported to apply for a tenancy). This was another achievement for Becs on her journey through the service.
Once she had settled in to living in this more independent setting, the focus of the support moved towards establishing further daily structure, reducing her drug use to a point where she was free from all illicit substance, and was developing and brushing up on her life skills.
At the five month point in her stay in the pre-tenancy flat, Becs went on the projects camping trip which was held in the summer of 2016. This acted as a further positive catalyst for her. She found the experience really useful in helping her to begin to think about a life outside of the hostel and what she needed to do next to access independent accommodation.
On her return to the project she applied to work at a local charity shop which proved to be so successful that she now supports the manager in the running of the shop which has in turn helped to keep her focused and drug free.