We are able to help a wide variety of people in different, often difficult, circumstances.
Client X is a 49 year old gentleman who was referred to us by the hospital following a reasonably long admission. He had long term alcohol issues which lead to ongoing physical health problems including severe malnutrition. Prior to his hospital stay he was living with friends but due to the property having to be sold he was required to leave and had nowhere to go. Fortunately he was able to fund some nights himself in a B & B, but this was only very short term. During that time we were able to offer intensive support and signpost him to supporting agencies such as One Recovery Bucks. When his nights in the B & B came to an end we were able to offer emergency accommodation under the Rough Sleepers Initiative. This gave us the opportunity to explore more long term housing options and enabled the client to continue to engage with support services.
Client X engaged well whilst in the accommodation and we completed relevant housing referrals and gave him advice on looking for private rented accommodation. We also offered him support around benefit claims, budgeting/finances and spoke about meaningful use of time.
Client X was soon offered a room at a scheme in Aylesbury where he could stay until he was offered something via the housing register or secured private rented accommodation. Although Client X had come such a long way and this was ultimately independent accommodation he still felt he would benefit from having support from staff on site if required. We provided him with a starter pack ensuring he had the basics to set up his home and signposted him to relevant organisations so he could source whatever else he needed. We continued to offer support until he felt confident in sustaining his tenancy and was linked in with appropriate support staff. We also encouraged him to attend a cooking course which helped him build on his skills and social isolation.
Client X has stayed in contact but recently disclosed that he had relapsed in regards to his alcohol use. Due to him taking on board advice that had been offered to him he was able to recognise this very quickly and sought help. He now also has a plan in place to reduce the risk of this happening again.
Being given the option of RSI meant that Client X could continue to work on his long term recovery in a safe and stable environment.
39 year old female presented to AHAG in July 2019. Living with parent. Mental health concerns including eating disorder, anxiety and depression. Recovered alcoholic.
When I first met with this lady it was clear that she was ready to move into her own accommodation after staying with her mother for the past 2 years and her mum had in fact asked her to leave within the next month. She had spent some time in rehab for her eating disorder and had moved on successfully from alcoholism. Previously, she had lived with her husband and children but never completely independently.
As always, the AVDC homeless/prevention portal was completed and supporting documents submitted. A housing pathways officer was assigned to the case to establish priority need. What impressed me the most with this lady was her determination to resolve her housing issue without relying on the local authority or AHAG to sort it for her. She took the responsibility on and owned it with enough guidance to reassure her. She looked for private rentals that were affordable for one, but could easily accommodate her visiting children. She worked on her budget and had a little money to help with the cost of moving.
The property was found via a letting agent who was understanding of the fact the client was in receipt of benefits. A VRF grant was applied for but refused due to ‘lack of funding’ which was disappointing given that £1,463 was needed! We paid a holding deposit whilst the rest of the funding was found. It took some doing and although the client paid a small amount, the money was taken from AVDC for rent in advance and AHAG for the deposit.
There were times when it was easy to see that the strain was getting to her but she powered through and moved in to the property she wanted last month. There is still a little work to be done with this case in terms of building up some confidence, but I have every faith in her ability to make a happy home for herself.