Housing First is not only changing lives of the people on the pilot, it is helping to change the lives of those connected and is reconnecting families.
Kirsty had overcome a traumatic and often chaotic early life to lead a “normal” life. She had a busy life including managing her business and enjoyed horse riding and breeding dogs.
But a relationship that turned violent began a series of events that led her to lose her tenancy and she became homeless.
After periods in temporary accommodation and staying with family and friends; during this period her mental health deteriorated which led to hospital admissions and an attempted suicide.
She was housed in the homeless hub, then in a bed and breakfast before she was referred by the Homeless Solutions Team.
And once referred, Kirsty was able to get a place in a hotel thanks to accessing grant funding. Kirsty had been asked to leave previous hotels for a variety of reasons but this base gave Kirsty, her worker and support agencies a chance to put things in place.
Her worker was able to meet Kirsty for coffee and build their relationship.
She was able to get to a place where she was able and wanted to take on her own tenancy, so when one became available in a place she wanted to live, she was able to move in.
Her worker was able to help her organise the move and help with organising bills and setting up the utilities.
Once Kirsty was feeling more settled in her new home her worker encouraged her to access mental health services so she could engage when she needed it and thanks to support from her GMHF worker happily things are beginning to change in a positive way.
Kirsty decided to quit smoking and currently she is undergoing Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) with Healthy Routes which is going great and she is fully committed to giving up for good!
She has become a model tenant and because of her love of horses, she has been referred to Stable Lives, where volunteers at Stable Lives recognise the devastating effect that Mental Health Traumas can have on children, individuals and their families.
She has also used her personalisation fund to access private therapy sessions and also craft supplies to help occupy her time.
Kirsty explored candle making and created some wonderful scented candles and this led to her developing an interest in natural skincare products.
Through the personalisation fund Kirsty started to make skin cream using only natural products and this quickly became a passion.
To make the creams, she had been following how-to instructional videos on YouTube but it became apparent to her that more expert help was needed because the creams just wouldn’t set!
Kirsty then found an accredited skincare course which would give her the knowledge and skills needed for her to develop her hobby and her worker supported her to enrol which Kirsty was thrilled about.
Most happily, she is building bridges with her children and is in regular contact.
Kirsty has taken control of her life and is accessing the services and engaging with the agencies she needs to help her in her recovery journey. Kirsty is a true inspiration and she is proof that things do get better.
And Housing First has been there every step of the way and is helping her to realise her aspirations of getting back into education to pursue a career as a veterinary nurse.
Together, we are making a difference.