“Without Housing First, I’d have been knackered."

GREATER Manchester Housing First is changing lives week in, week out.

Here’s the story of one of the people we have rehoused who is now on the path to a brighter future, created before the Covid-19 crisis and the subsequent lockdown.

He said: “I was in the rehab. I’d done two and a half years in the rehab. I left and came back to Salford and I struggled to get a property so I ended up homeless and sofa surfing.

“I didn’t know where I was at from one day to the next. I could have been on the streets, or at a friend’s; I was here, there and everywhere and it was stressful.

“I just started drinking a lot to get through the night when I was rough sleeping. And I was taking drugs as well, just to cope and get through it.”

But things started to turn around when the man met Housing First Worker Paula Lorde at the Loaves and Fishes Centre, a registered charity aimed at supporting vulnerable people.

He added: “I was at the Loaves and Fishes Centre when Paula came in and moved me into Housing First and from there Paula got everything sorted for me.

“They helped me get a roof over my head, helped me to get it kitted out and comfortable and I’m not on the streets worrying about where I’m going to be from one night to the next. I can come home and shut the door. I’m happy.”

Thanks to the intervention of Greater Manchester Housing First, the man has been able too access the services he needs, including Mental health service, doctors, probation ACHIEVE, drug and alcohol team.

But where once there was despair, there is now hope and he aiming to get is life back on track.

He added: “I’ve got plans but I need to put them into action because I’ve spent so long on my own, isolating myself.

“Paula’s helped me get out there and do bits and bats and I’m just going to give it a try.

“Without Housing First, I’d have been knackered. I’d have been brown bread. Housing First should have been brought out a lot sooner than it has been then certain people wouldn’t have had to go through what they’ve been through, including myself.”

*This video was filmed before the lockdown*

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