"I feel safe, and that’s huge"

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Home Works Client

On the call to Home Works, the person was a really good listener and I explained to them the whole situation. They were easy to talk to and empathetic. It made me feel that somebody was listening and possibly I could get help. 

Finally coming to that moment of asking for help was like an epiphany. There’s a fear about telling people what’s really going on but I was amazed that help was out there. 

I’d never asked for help before, but things were so difficult. My face was up against the wall. I didn’t know what to do. All I could see was a black hole.

I was referred to Home Works by Health in Mind. They felt I was emotionally at risk because I was in a housing crisis with a mental health issue and nowhere to live.

On the call to Home Works, the person was a really good listener and I explained to them the whole situation. They were easy to talk to and empathetic. It made me feel that somebody was listening and possibly I could get help. 

I wasn’t sure what the help was going to be but it became more apparent at the initial assessment meeting in Lewes. I saw my first Home Works Worker twice, and then I met my current Worker. She was lovely. There was no pressure, just a chat. It was like therapy itself. 

She advised me to go to Housing Options. She went through the steps and then came to the council meeting with me. It made a huge difference to have someone support me like that – it was surprising. We discussed private renting but because I wasn’t working, it wasn’t going to be easy.

I was accepted as homeless by the council because of my circumstances. I applied for housing in June and then I got an offer in the last week of September! I viewed the flat and accepted it in one day. It’s a ground floor one bedroom flat which is suitable for my mobility. It’s got a garden too which is great because I’m a keen gardener and I have a dog.

My Home Works Worker helped me with the meter readings, contacting the utility companies, and even got a washing machine for me from a charity. It was so nice to have that help. I moved in the next Saturday.

My mum came with me to collect the keys. It was important that she met my Worker, an independent person who saw my situation was serious. She realised all the help I was getting from people and I feel she understands me a little bit more and has the time to talk to me after seeing I needed help with Home Works. 

My home is wonderful to me. I have this security now. I can be there forever. I’m decorating and the house looks nice - I do arts and crafts, I spin and I weave. I want to start going to the Wellbeing Centre to create more connections and make me get out of the house. It’ll make me speak to other people especially now that I understand the value of sharing.

I feel safe, and that’s huge. I’m trying to learn how to manage my boundaries and responses. Historically I’ve always tried to live up to other people’s expectations and that’s contributed to my mental health issues. I’ve learnt there’s no shame in asking for help. It’s the hardest bit, but you can - which is amazing.

I have many more happier days. The safety makes me feel more in control. My home is like a cocoon. I live in the way I want to live. It makes me feel free!

 

Home Works is our housing support service in East Sussex. It provides focused support to people aged 16 to 59 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.