A few years ago Ross was homeless and looking for support when he came to live at one of DCH’s supported housing schemes, The Coach House, in Penzance.
This is Ross’s story:
“I was living at home with my mum, her boyfriend and my brother, and had been experiencing mental health issues after a trauma. Through mutual consent with my mum I decided to move out when I was 19, but then found myself homeless and living in emergency accommodation at a B&B. I was too ill to leave my room and go outdoors most days; I wouldn’t eat unless I was visiting my brother every three or four days and my mental health issues got worse. Cornwall Council and Stonham worked to help me into accommodation via the One Stop Shop, where I was referred to the Coach House which was perfect for me as it was local.”
After being accepted for a space at the Coach House through an interview process Ross then had to wait three months for a space to become available. He was then able to move into the DCH run accommodation and receive the support of their services, including key work reviews and help with referrals to other organisations.
It was great knowing I then had the security of two years of accommodation and support. I knew those next two years would be positive and if I had any struggles DCH would take it off my plate and help with the responsibility of it. I wasn’t well enough to work when I joined the Coach House but my support worker Jo helped me with progressing key goals in life: starting with little steps such as being able to knock on a door and walk into town. This moved onto wanting to be back into work and achieving a job in town.
After working for six months and getting better every day I was ready for something more challenging and looking for a real career. My support worker let me know that the apprenticeships at DCH were available; I thought it was a great opportunity and I’d always liked everyone I’d met from DCH. Waiting after my interview was a bit scary, the competition was really good, but I found out after a few hours that I’d got the job; its went from nerve-wracking to exciting in an afternoon!
Three apprentices started together, we’re all very excited and getting on really well. My first day was really good, and the team are really nice to work with and friendly. There’s a lot to take in but I’ve already started talking to potential tenants and the work is really rewarding. I’d like to say thanks to my support worker, Jo, my housing officer, Anna and Giles Parkyn for helping me on my journey so far.”
Ross is now a trainee lettings advisor at DCH, helping people into empty properties, and uses his understanding about the stresses of looking for somewhere to live to help other people.