Mike was living in unsuitable housing scheme, his mental health deteriorated and he required higher support. He moved to Hestia’s scheme in December 2015. This is his story:
I came to Hestia as I felt there was a strange presence where I was before and there were people coming into my room. They brought me here because I needed extra support and at the last place I lived, I wasn’t getting the right help. At the moment, I’m waiting for independent housing.
Supported housing has had a good impact on my life and I think the service has an interesting approach to life. It’s like a hostel but you’re given your own responsibilities like paying your service charges, doing your own shopping, remembering to do your own washing, paying your own bills and going to your GP appointments. You’re allowed to look after yourself. I am able to go down the road on my own and I can do what I want without people telling me to do anything, but I also feel like I can ask the staff about anything.
The staff taught me how to use a washing machine and me and my flat mate agreed that I would do the bins and he would do the hoovering. The staff also help me get out and about. I go to the cinema, the gym, swimming and a place that helps with my reading and writing.
We also all sit down together and do coffee mornings and house meetings. I’ll talk and say hello, I think it’s nice to see the people who live here.
I have lived in two or three places like this before but it’s a bit more like I’m living independently.
For me, supported housing means staff helping you fill in forms, going shopping with you and having a cup of tea and a chat with you. It’s a bit like owning your own flat and it will make it easier when I move into my own home. I don’t think they should close these places, I think they should keep them open.