Vernon (not his real name) had been homeless on and off for more than 15 years and had experienced mental health and drug misuse during that and for these reasons had trouble finding a settled home.
But this began to change in November 2019 when HF Worker Andy Wilding met Vernon.
He had been on another HF programme in the past and it hadn’t been a success.
Vernon had been seen as a very vulnerable man and with his drug past he soon became a victim of cuckooing before ending up back on the streets before living in a hostel for two years.
Vernon and his support workers knew sheltered accommodation was his best option but that came with some challenges as these types of homes were few and far between.
For about 12 months, Andy was in contact with a couple of housing associations that were looking at housing for Vernon, but once they realised his needs they fell through, and we thought this would never happen and we may have to look at a normal tenancy.
But Vernon knew what he needed and we stuck to this knowing this was the best thing for him.
Other the last 18 months Vernon has had some ups and downs - the biggest was the amount of time we had to wait for a tenancy.
His support workers also had to manage how he was coping in the hostel. But thanks to the excellent working relationship I have with the staff at the hostel this was done very well and speaks volumes for the joint working we do.
Thankfully, we eventually found Vernon a place in a sheltered scheme managed by Regenda and he is as happy as he ever has been.
He freely admits that without HF he may not be with us, and also that he now sees a future and he is in his forever home.
Andy said: “This case proves the flexibility of the GMHF pilot as housing someone like Vernon being housed in sheltered accommodation isn’t a typical solution but it was the right situation in this case.
“It’s also important to say how fantastic Regenda has been in helping Vernon to get a base and get a real chance of a brighter future.”
This is the power of the GM Housing First pilot and, Together, we are making a difference.