A place to call home after a decade of rough sleeping
Sarah* had been sleeping rough on and off for around ten years when our Street Outreach Team found her. Like many homeless people with complex needs, she was at first reluctant to engage with us because she'd been let down so many times in the past. We went to meet her in the new flat we supported her to move in to.
"I was sleeping in a tent with my two dogs for about three years, and had been homeless on and off for around ten years. I was addicted to heroin and had been evicted from my last property.
"Things weren’t good but I got used to how things were. I didn’t think I would ever be eligible for housing again, and l really didn’t think there was anything that could be done to help me.
"I’d heard of rough sleepers being attacked and even set on fire, so I kept myself to myself as much as possible. I didn’t really have contact with other people.
"Neil from the outreach team first started to work with me about two years ago. Looking back I should really have accepted his help sooner, but at that time I just wanted to be left alone. I used to get a lot of coughs and colds, but I had my dogs with me and I had almost got used to how things were.
"I was pretty rude to him at first but he was so persistent with me that eventually I knew that I could trust him. He told me that he could help me and I went along with it.
"He talked to the council for me and got me housed as a priority, which I really didn’t think was possible. Framework have also helped me to get furniture and to settle in. Without them I would definitely still be out on the streets.
"I feel much better now; more motivated. When I was sleeping rough I used to feel very tired all the time because it was so difficult to sleep..
I am still getting used to my flat.
We have changed Sarah's* name to protect her identity.