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Hannah - a GMHF story

Hannah (not her real name) started using drugs as a teenager, spending years of her life on the streets and at times had turned to sex work.

She struggled to engage with support services as this kind of life was all she’d ever known.

Long-standing health issues mean Hannah has limited mobility, impacting her ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

She had found it difficult to go shopping or pick up medication, which led to her losing a lot of weight and her condition worsening.

Then Hannah met the Greater Manchester Housing First (GMHF) who supported her to access substance misuse services, and she has now begun to reduce her drug intake.

Before GMHF, Hannah had been in and out of temporary accommodation, but her Project Worker helped her to find a flat and has ensured her support is accessible, arranging meals to be delivered and outreach nurses to help her at home.

It hasn’t been easy and there have been many challenges that Hannah has had to face, including an accidental overdose.

To best support Hannah, the GMHF team created a collaborative safety plan that includes all of the services she comes into contact with.

This means that, if emergency help is needed, the whole team, from Meals on Wheels to the dedicated Project Worker, know how to act and who to contact.

Hannah independently accesses Narcotics Anonymous online, connecting with others who are struggling with substance misuse and sharing her story. These sessions have helped Hannah to change her outlook on substance misuse and finally start to believe that she can one day have a life without drugs.

Hannah said: “Since being referred to Housing First, what has gone well is having the support available to me when I want it.”

Having somewhere to call home has enabled Hannah to reconnect with her children, and the team will continue to support Hannah to achieve her aim of getting clean.

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