"Home Works saved my life"

Home Works Client

Last Christmas, I was by myself in my camper, cold, lonely, in pain, and with no hope for the future. This year, I will be warm, at home and have my family around me.  

Home Works saved my life.

Me and the wife split up so I said you take the house and I went to live in the campervan.

I was sitting on my own, looking at four walls, getting depressed. It was cold with no heating and snow on the ground outside. I started drinking again.

I had an operation for a burst bowel. I was in hospital for a short while but then discharged back on the street. I had an open wound on my stomach, no medication, no GP. I was in a lot of pain. I also had problems with my breathing and was admitted to hospital for chest infections. Each time, I’d be discharged back to my camper.  

People from the Council said to move on but I said, ‘Where can I go? I’ve got nowhere else to go.’ I was told to get on the Housing register but because I am dyslexic, I had no idea how to fill in all the forms. 

I have a son and friends but I didn’t want them to see me like this. I shut myself off from the world.

I spent nearly a year in the camper and tried to hang myself twice. A friend found me the first time, and a police officer the second.

Something had to change. I went back to the Council and this time they referred me to Home Works.

My Home Works Worker would come and see me two to three times a week. The first thing he did was help me to register with a GP to get help for my health. I was diagnosed with chronic heart and lung disease. It’s one of those things. Every day is a bonus to me now.

While trying to find me somewhere to live, he helped me apply for a grant to get a solar panel for the camper so I could have heating and listen to my radio to boost my morale.

It wasn’t long before I was given temporary accommodation in a hotel for a few months and then my own flat.  

I now see my Worker once a week. He helps me go through all my mail and checks I’m okay. I still find it difficult to read and fill in forms. It’s down to me to pay the bills though. I’m not going back on the streets.

He has been my rock and saviour. Without him, I may not be here today and things would be very different. I felt I had no purpose in life before.

I’m settled now. I have a nice home and I’m not sleeping rough. My condition is terminal but things are getting positive. I live by the sea and I have a roast chicken on the side ready for dinner with my son later. The little things now make me happy.

Last Christmas, I was by myself in my camper, cold, lonely, in pain, and with no hope for the future. This year, I will be warm, at home and have my family around me.   

It’s as if I have been given a new start after being in such a dark place. Home Works has given me hope.

 

Home Works is our housing support service in East Sussex. It provides focused support to people aged 16 to 64 years. Clients may be single people, couples or families who are at risk of losing their home, have no permanent home or need help to live independently.