Talking Openly with an “outsider”
I was so scared of this man for 20 years.
The client has a long history of homelessness and was experiencing a chaotic life. When he was referred to Housing First by the Firm Foundation.
At first, we worked with the Client to get him comfortable, being around us, as support workers, and were aware that the Client had undiagnosed Mental Health issues. We got in touch with the local GP and put our names on his account so that we could support him in attending his appointments. This worked out well as Client did not have the ability to remember his G.P. appointments.
Because of the Client’s inability to remember appointments it was decided that we should share his universal credit account and intervene when the Client needed to attend a workplace interview with DWP. We also attended his Universal credit appointments with the Client After a few months Client was well enough to attend these appointments on his own (having been encouraged to abstain from alcohol which was a leading factor into why the Client had become homeless in the first place.
When Client first presented to Housing first he was disheveled and unwashed, also his mood was unstable and it was difficult to know if Client understood what we were saying to him, as he spoke little English (Client spoke Gujarat) Client was estranged from his family and had little contact with his family.
Reason for Referral:
The Main issue at the referral stage was to stabilise and support him in living and thriving in his flat and to address his unstable pattern of life.
The main support work undertaken with the Client was to get him a Bank account as he was Banned from his local bank for aggressive behaviour. We spoke to the bank Manager and convinced him to give the Client another chance and reinstate his bank account, which they did. This was done so that he could receive his Benefits and we supported him to set up direct debits to pay his Housing Benefit and Council tax as well as his water and Gas/Electric bills as well as make several appointments with Moorfields Eye Hospital and G.P.
The wider impact of our work is that the Client is more stable in his living conditions and is able to make more informed choices in his life (with our support) The chaotic nature of his life has now stabilised and he is not mixing with people who would be dangerous to his new path. The client still has his challenges in life, mostly around accessing a proper mental health diagnosis. This is in the pipeline and we expect to hear from his G.P. very soon for a complete Mental Health assessment.
To quote the Client “You all saved me “