He was lost, without a home town, a support network or structure to his life unable to recognise or begin to address his mental health issues, Daniel* was living a chaotic and transient life drifting between cities.

Daniel has been visiting us on and off for a couple of years, he knew us as a place he trusted and could come to for practical help when he was living on the streets of Manchester. Sadly, like lots of people suffering from mental health problems or addictions Daniel was not engaging with our support workers and he would always move to another city before too long.

Daniel came back to Manchester this year and we saw that his mental health had deteriorated a worrying amount since we last saw him, this had worsened by his chaotic drug use.

At Barnabus our door is always open for people like Daniel to come to us when they are ready to engage with our support, no matter how long we have to wait for them to be ready to change. For Daniel it was this latest visit to Manchester, suddenly he was more receptive to support and we were able to persuade him to start working with Rachel, a social worker from the homeless mental health team. She holds a weekly session at Barnabus meaning that he could begin treatment for his mental health problems at Barnabus, a place he trusted and felt safe in. Another really positive sign that Daniel’s pattern of self-destructive behaviour was changing was when he began to engage with the NHS nurses who are based at Barnabus.

Through the outreach team from Manchester City Council (MCC) Daniel was referred into emergency accommodation. This felt like it could be a big step in him continuing his momentum and escaping homelessness for good. Tragically the accommodation was not suitable to Daniels mental health needs, with no support and anti-social behaviour from some other residents. Daniel found the environment completely overwhelming. He returned to the environment he knew and began sleeping on the streets as he felt that to be safer.

Fortunately, Daniel wasn’t too disheartened by his failure to remain in accommodation,he was still in Manchester and still coming to us for support. We raised the issues that Daniel had in non-supported accommodation to the team leaders from the MCC outreach team. They agreed that Daniel needed more support in order to stay in accommodation. Together with MCC we helped Daniel to connect with other services and get himself an NHS mental health worker.

Just two days later he was offered the chance to move into supported accommodation. There Daniel has his own support worker from MCC who will support him. His mental health worker will visit him at his new accommodation and support him alongside our Recovery Manager who will continue to support Daniel as he overcomes his mental health problems and leaves homelessness behind.

Daniel is still at the start of his recovery from his mental health problems, his addictions and the traumas he carries with him from the years he spent sleeping on our streets. But Daniel is making great positive change in his life and he has a brilliant support network around him from several different organisations. With this level of support, we are hopeful that Daniel will one day soon be living a happy and full life in a home of his own.

*Name has been changed to protect our friend’s identity

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