Chris* came to us in autumn 2020. He had been street homeless for two nights following the breakdown of his relationship with his partner, which was caused by losing his job at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

As with so many of our friends, Chris first came to the Beacon. He sat down with Amy, one of our engagement workers, who believed he was in immediate need of support. He was, after all, brand new to rough sleeping and in a vulnerable state – so Amy asked our Case Worker Manager Steve to meet with him.

Here, we explore Chris’ journey – from that initial meeting with us to finding employment and a new home…

The first steps towards resettlement

During this one to one session Steve was able to make a referral to the council and Chris was temporarily housed in a hotel. Aimee, our resettlement worker, went to visit Chris the following day. Together, they applied for him to receive universal credit and built a budget to help him make the most of his money.

Chris explained to Aimee how his mental health was at this time: he didn’t know which way to turn and he felt lost. He explained that he suffers from PTSD after a traumatic car accident he had been in years before, as well as anxiety and depression. It was clear to see that Chris’ anxiety was very much present.

Feeling confident that Chris needed a permanent home and was capable of securing one, Aimee asked the case workers at the hotel for a second opinion. They met with him the very next day and confirmed Aimee’s assessment; they believed Chris would manage in a tenancy with the support of the resettlement programme.

As soon as she received this confirmation, Aimee took Chris for a viewing at a property managed by Barnabus. Chris liked the house, and when he met one of the other tenants his anxiety really calmed down. He was happy to take the property.

How your support makes a difference

To give our friends the best chance to recover from the stress and trauma of homelessness, we’ve strived to make the properties we manage as homely as possible. Through funding and the kind support of companies and individuals, we were able to get:

  • A new fridge and kitchen equipment
  • New beds, delivered by the landlord
  • Furniture, donated by the team at LOFT Interiors
  • Two sofas, thanks to Local Waste
  • Second Hand TV’s for the shared lounge and also tenants own use, made possible through donations

When Chris first moved in, Aimee took him shopping with some vouchers that had been donated too. Chris was able to choose some bedding, cleaning equipment and other household items.

Since living in the property, Chris has done amazingly well. He’s in regular contact with his children, and we’ve been able to help him secure employment from one of our partnerships. Chris has been delivering food parcels to the vulnerable and is really enjoying it.

Moving back towards full independence

Aimee writes. “Chris has been a pleasure to work with. I’m looking forward to seeing him become more confident and blossom in his own independence.

“I would like to help Chris eventually move into his own contained flat, as soon as he feels that he no longer needs our support as intensely and can move on from our resettlement programme. Our door will always be open to Chris – as it is to everyone – but this programme is about promoting independence. The end goal is always to watch our friends feel able to move forward with their lives without us.”

Can you help us fulfill the lives of the people in our resettlement programme? We are looking for gardening tools and equipment as well as fishing rods and tackle. After talking with our friends we decided that these two activities would best help our friends de-stress, reconnect with nature and feel more at home in their properties. B & Q and Gardening Vouchers are also an ideal way to offer your support

If you think you could help please email [email protected]

*Name changed to protect our friends identity