"Living on my own feels like a sanctuary"

Home Works Client

My Home Works Worker was wonderful. Her attitude was very good - I couldn’t ask for a better Support Worker. She took her time with me. She was calm and understanding. 

 

Getting housing support has helped me a lot. It’s given me a roof over my head. Living on my own feels like a sanctuary.

I just wanted to be settled. My life has been a rollercoaster - I feel like a post that keeps moving.

I first got support from Home Works about three months ago. The council had put me in temporary accommodation but I had problems in a couple of the places because I couldn’t share the bathroom and kitchen facilities and I was getting ill. I have Type 1 Diabetes and it is important I have the right kitchen facilities for my insulin. 

Living in town I wasn’t settled. I was upset and depressed where I was living. I didn’t feel safe. The noise was a nightmare with people going to clubs and fighting outside. It really affected my health. 

I kept going to the council to get things changed. I kept fighting for my case to get a better place. It was very hard and tearful.

My Housing Officer then put me in touch with Southdown’s Home Works service. My Home Works Worker was wonderful. We would meet at the Council and she really helped. Her attitude was very good - I couldn’t ask for a better Support Worker. She took her time with me. She was calm and understanding. 

She helped me put my case across for me to move and she and my Housing Officer worked together to try and find suitable accommodation for me with my own kitchen and bathroom. They contacted the YMCA and put in an application for my own accommodation. 

In late May, I got an email saying I had an interview at the YMCA. My Housing Officer came with me - I was nervous meeting someone new. I got tearful going through my history and circumstances, but I was trying to be positive and said to myself, “I’m going to get this place.” 

The interviewer then told me that I had a fully-furnished flat that day! I had to move in the next day!

It felt nice but a bit scary because I’d never had my own flat. I was scared of the responsibility – I have to pay for the TV licence, council tax, and utility bills, but I’m getting there. 

My keyworker at the YMCA is helping me with bills and letters. I have dyslexia and learning difficulties so reading letters is very difficult.

My Home Works Worker has helped me with my PIP forms. I had the interview which was difficult and tiring and I’ll hear the result in six weeks. I’m on Universal Credit at the moment which is not enough for me.

Having my own place is good. I enjoy it. I like my own comfort, my own space. I like watching my movies – I’m a Harry Potter fan! I have a Harry Potter teddy, duvet, umbrella, scarf, and cushion! Harry Potter is my comfort. It’s starting to feel a bit more homely.

I want to have a better life. I want to enjoy my life and just be happy. You have to try and do the best you can, be positive. Keep fighting. Don’t ever give up. Always get the support and help you can. Don’t keep it inside.

I think I am lucky where I am now. I have a roof over my head. That’s so important.

 

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.