“My private landlord’s home was repossessed and because there was no housing available for us, my son and I were put into a hostel in Poole. At night when the staff went home the place was full of drug taking and the threat of violence.
We were there for six months. I was petrified and sank into a deep depression. After seeking advice from Shelter I was referred to BCHA which quickly provided us with supported housing and a support worker. We were offered BCHA accommodation for three years and the weight off my shoulders was huge.
BCHA also gave us a support worker Carmela Richmond who literally guided me back to a life of hope. Carmela helped me get counselling after a diagnosis of PTSD and depression and showed me I wasn’t failing my son as I feared. I was also able to get practical help to apply for council housing.
After three years my BCHA lease ran out, but the council told me the property I was due to move into still wasn’t ready – thankfully BCHA gave me another six months until it was, or I could have been right back at square one.
BCHA Employment Engagement Officer Charli Cowley also helped me to train through the New Directions programme and apply for a job I love, working full time as a painter and decorator for BCHA’s social enterprise arm New Leaf Repairs.
I wake up glad to be alive, excited to go to work and thankful for what has been done for me by BCHA. My son and I are now in a council property. Our home.
I am off all my medication and am proud to be paying my bills as well as providing a stable and happy life for my son – giving back what I have received.”