Homelessness comes in many forms. Sue only spent a short amount of time sleeping on friends sofas, known as sofa surfing, but it was long enough to realise she was at real risk of ‘slipping through the net.’
“I fell out with my dad big time and he asked me to leave the house. I was in a bit of a state of shock. It was unexpected and scary. But some of my mates let me stay on their sofas. That was in September 2020. I knew if I didn’t act things could get a lot worse, so I called the council’s housing options team. They were great and within a few days I had a place in a hostel.”
The hostel offered Sue safe, secure accommodation. But she was determined to find somewhere as soon as possible that she could really call home.
“I was put in touch with DHI. I spoke to Natalie from DHI’s Home Turf Lettings team and she was brilliant! Natalie helped me find a place in a shared house with my own room, my own space again. She helped me with all the forms. Natalie was with me when we went to visit the property and she could see how happy I was. It was amazing after weeks of uncertainty. I felt at ease again.”
DHI’s Reach team worked with Sue to manage her benefits, finances and bills and supported her to submit a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim – something Sue says she’d have struggled to do on her own. They also helped Sue to secure some supermarket vouchers so she could buy food whilst waiting for her benefits to be processed. She says knowing that type of support was available and that someone was at the end of the phone if she needed was invaluable to her. Sue says she’s now looking to the future and hopes to move into her own flat eventually.
“I’d love to get my own flat. My own living room! That’s my goal. It’s been a difficult year, but DHI, Reach and Home Turf Lettings have been amazing! I couldn’t be more thankful. The team were there for me when I most needed them.”