Michael is 54 years old and had been rough sleeping for over 15 years, he is an alcoholic with very poor health and visual impairment. When we first met him he was at significant risk of dying on the streets, he was living in a single lined tent and had maggots in his feet and rats living in his tent. All of the services had disengaged from him due to his behaviour. He was regularly visiting A&E and the police where often called to his tent for anti-social behaviour. Over the past 15 years Michael had not managed to stay in accommodation for any longer than 24 hours.
In November 2017 Michael was the first client to be accepted onto our housing first project due to him being considered high risk if he continued to sleep on the streets during the winter.
In December 2017 Encompass offered Michael temporary accommodation in a small village in North Devon until suitable accommodation could be found for him.
From the day we accepted him onto the project we provided 7 hours per week support and as Michael had physical needs we were able to apply for careers to visit him via adult social care to help with personal care as it became evident he was double incontinent. During his time in temporary accommodation we were able to spend time with him to understand his accommodation needs, an important part of the project is that the client has choice and control over where they live. Michael expressed an interest to live in Barnstaple near local amenities. After reviewing a variety of accommodation he was offered a one bedroom social housing flat for over 50’s he was offered a life time tenancy by the landlord.
On April 13th 2018 he moved into the property, we supported him to claim all of his benefit entitlement and even managed to get his Employment and Support Allowance back dated giving him a one off back payment of over £1800. We secured furniture for his flat helping him to make it more homely. We registered him with a local GP and dentist and accompanied him to his medical appointments. Whilst Michael continues to drink he has reduced his intake.
Michael has been in his accommodation for over 1 year now and is doing really well, we continue to support him and are confident that he will continue to make positive progress, his health has significantly improved.