What was the challenge?
55 year old Sara was referred to us by the Salvation Army, after she had spent several weeks rough sleeping. Sara suffers from a personality disorder and physical issues which impact her mobility. Sara’s addiction to heroin and alcohol made her vulnerable, which others had taken advantage of from a young age.
Sara had several admissions to A&E and visits from the police following multiple instances of her children physically and emotionally abused her. Her son, Andy was also homeless, and was dealing with a drug addiction too. Andy would often take Sara’s medication and expect her to pay his debts. This led to her mental and physical health deteriorating, which had resulted in her losing her home.
Sara was distrustful of homelessness services as she felt she had been let down by other housing and care providers.
How did Concrete help?
Helping Sara wasn’t a quick fix. We knew that we needed to work with the Salvation Army to build Sara’s trust in Concrete before she would allow us to help her. We also realised that Sara wouldn’t be able to begin to rebuild her life if her son did not get help as well. Our staff referred Andy to other agencies to get him the support he needed.
As Sara’s trust in us began to develop, she informed our staff that her physical and mental health had deteriorated as she was given her medication every two weeks, which she felt she was unable to manage. We addressed this by finding her a new pharmacy that provided Sara with her medication every few days.
As Sara now trusted Concrete, she was ready to move out of the Salvation Army accommodation and into her own. We supported her to do this by making sure her home had white goods and furniture and helping her to set up bills, access benefits and manage her money.
What was the impact?
Sara now lives in an over 55s sheltered accommodation scheme. The scheme has CCTV and staff work closely with the police to make sure her son does not visit, which makes her feel safe.
Sara’s physical wellbeing has improved and she has reduced the substances she takes and no longer uses heroin. She now feels well enough to take part in activities with other residents at the scheme. Sara also started engaging with mental health services, takes her medication on time and visits her GP regularly, which has improved her mental wellbeing.
Andy is also getting support from partner agencies and is in emergency accommodation.