We are very good at portraying the happy faces of our clients. Alongside all the wellbeing activities we have a team working with clients, old and new, on matters related to housing, benefits and negotiating a world of digital and on line services. We often don’t spend time writing up these stories.
Our worker Jeri has had a particularly challenging couple of weeks working to avert street homelessness for one of our clients,
Matthew (name changed) has been a client of our for over five years. He first became known to us as a long term rough sleeper, we worked hard on building a good relationship with him – we found housing for him, we ensured he was awarded any benefits to which he was entitled and once housed we engaged him in a series of training and meaningful activities and our befriending team kept in touch with him. All was looking good, then along came Covid-19, luckily Matthew was engaging well with us and we were immediately able to support his needs. Matthew was hugely appreciative of our help.
Suddenly Matthew became very unwell and needed an emergency triple heart bypass. Together we started working with his GP, the council housing team and hospital discharge team to ensure that Matthew would have the support he needed while recovering from his operation. We were doing this as Matthew lives in the attic of a three story house and would have found himself unable to access his property if discharged without his needs being considered. Two days after his operation the hospital tried to discharge him without making any arrangements to support Matthew, The council housing team said they would try find a temporary place for him to stay until he could access his property – they did not!
It has been a very stressful two weeks. Matthew is extremely upset and his mental health has taken a dip and he is resigned to being homeless again. No arrangement has been made to support Matthew for the short period of time he needs help before returning to his home or when he does return home.
Thankfully he is recovering well and as of today we understand he will be discharged home, brought to his attic room and will make his own arrangements. Matthew deserves to be treated better – he needs a package of care at home to help his with personal care and he needs GP care. He needs help with food and medication. He feels let down by the system, we feel his frustration. We have spent over 60+ hours liaising with hospital and council to avert Matthew becoming street homeless again. This should not have been necessary as we had alerted all the concerned parties of Matthew’s needs in advance of him going to hospital for his operation.