Following the death of her husband, Jean found herself living on her own at their home in Norris Green. Vulnerable and alone, she was soon targeted by local youths.
Jean says: “When I lost my husband, that’s when things started to go wrong. I was tormented day and night. Kids would hang around outside my house. They were using my front path as if they lived there, and would jump over the wall along the side of the house as a cut-through to the shops. I was terrified and very lonely. I used to spend most days sitting in Sayers café because I didn’t want to go home.”
Although Jean’s family were there to support her, she didn’t want to feel like a burden.
She says: “I would never tell my daughter what was actually going on around me. She had a full-time job so I didn’t want to worry her. I didn’t want to put pressure on her as she has two kids of her own to look after.”
Eventually Jean turned to Liverpool Housing Trust (LHT), who offered her a place at Ennis Court in Croxteth, which provides supported housing for older people.
Jean says: “Before my husband died we were looking into another scheme, so our names were already on the list. When they offered me a place at Ennis Court I was so relieved.”
When Jean first arrived at Ennis Court she was very anxious and nervous due to months of torment at her previous address. However, after a few weeks of living in supported housing she began to feel much safer and grew in confidence.
Jean says: “My life has changed for the better since moving to Ennis Court. It was the best thing I ever did and I have never looked back. I never want to leave and I recommend anyone who lives on their own to move to a supported housing scheme like this one.”
Moving to Ennis Court has given Jean a new lease of life, and she now enjoys an active social calendar.
She says: “I have made a lot of new friends and neighbours, and my social life is full. I have to keep a diary just to keep up with all the events and activities.
“I am much more confident now and have even taken on the role of secretary of the Tenants’ Forum. We meet regularly to discuss any issues that tenants have and I am loving every minute of it.”
Supported Housing has also helped take the strain off of Jean’s family.
She says: “My family are now able to get on with their lives, as they don’t have to constantly worry about me.”
Jean says: “I don’t think my life could’ve gone on the way it was. It sounds a bit dramatic, but if it wasn’t for supported housing I don’t think I would be here. When I lived at my old house I just wanted to die – there was nothing to live for. Supported housing means everything to me. If it wasn’t for Ennis Court, I really don’t think I would still be here. We have a running joke here that moving to supported housing instantly adds five years to your life. It’s just a joke we say to each other, but I think there’s some truth to it.”