“This is a re-birth. I’m treating it as Part 2 of my life"

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Housing Management Client

I have nothing but compliments for Southdown. They’ve been brilliant. I’ve found that Southdown have really respected my pace. I can get a lot of things done given the right amount of time and focus.

This is a re-birth. I’m treating it as Part 2 of my life. And it’s going to be a whole lot better than Part 1.

My first night here was lovely. One of my friends turned out to be a neighbour! We cooked up pasta together. I had no furniture. I had a tin mug, one packet of Rizlas, a mattress, and a little radio. It was incredibly exciting! Luckily the leccy and the gas was still on ‘cos boy was it still freezing in February.

Prior to moving in, I had no idea what it would be like. I’ve really surprised myself by holding it all together. I’m learning to trust my instincts.

I’m enjoying spreading myself out here and filling the space. My old room was really small. I treat the garden like a room outdoors. I think the garden beats it as to where I like to spend the day, just pottering.

I have nothing but compliments for Southdown. They’ve been brilliant. I’ve found that Southdown have really respected my pace. I can get a lot of things done given the right amount of time and focus.

On Boxing Day 2015, I had a row with my landlord who is also my friend. I didn’t want to stay a second longer in a place I wasn’t welcome. The atmosphere would have been foul so B&B it had to be.

I got absolutely terrified – I mean proper frozen stiff. My mind was completely terrified of sleeping in doorways, being 51. I did sleep outside for a couple of nights and it was awful. My trust and responsibilities had eroded – I shed them like it was autumn. My nerves couldn’t take it. Combined with changes in my medication, I was petrified of finding myself in the frightening position of withdrawing from one med and becoming homeless.

I’d started to engage with The Corner House, a mental health resource centre. When I told them I was in a B&B they referred me to MyKey for homeless prevention. MyKey then referred me to the Independent Living Scheme (ILS) for a Southdown tenancy.

I turned up half an hour early to meet Housing Management cos I didn’t want to miss this opportunity. The meeting was a quick sketch over my life. They were more concerned with my recent past cos that told them which direction my life was going.

I met my Housing Officer at the property. When I saw it, it took my breath away. I was flabbergasted because it was huge!

At first I was apprehensive, I thought, “I don’t deserve a flat.” I had to pinch myself. I’d gone through so much grief, I thought, “Look, I’m a lucky boy! Seize this one, look after it!”

I think being broke and broken like that, the only way is up. It makes you appreciate a normal life cos a normal life is all I want.

My darling mum feels she has got her son back. And I have my mum back! What could be better than that!

When I wake up in the morning, it’s wonderful cos I know where I am. Home is where the heart is.
 

Southdown provides different types of affordable housing from temporary accommodation to a long-term home for people who have health and/or support needs. As a specialist supported housing landlord the majority of our tenants also receive additional support from our housing officers to help maintain their homes. Alongside them, our floating support officers work to ensure that individuals have the support they need to manage their independence, health and wellbeing.