Before being referred to the Greater Manchester Housing First Programme, veteran Simon (not his real name) had spent the past 15 years sleeping rough on the streets and experimenting with Class A drugs.
Simon also suffered from depression and anxiety and found it hard to engage with support services, but when he took the step to meet his Housing First support worker, within less than two weeks he had an offer to move into his own flat.
Lockdown restrictions prevented Simon moving forward with this, but the Housing First team continued to keep in touch with him by providing him with a mobile phone and visiting places where Simon often frequented to allow them to offer support to Simon when he was ready. When a second property became available, the Housing First team supported Simon to move in within the hour!
Once Simon was housed, his Housing First support worker helped to set up his benefits, deal with utilities and apply for funding and grants. Including DIY vouchers for Simon to make his flat into a home. He has also accessed services to improve his mental health and now feels confident to access these independently.
Not only is Simon excited to start furnishing and decorating his new flat, but he’s looking forward to helping other people through volunteer opportunities with veteran charities once he’s fully settled.