Last year, Paul was rough sleeping, now he’s settled in to his new home

Last year, Paul was rough sleeping and dependent on drugs and alcohol. Now, on World Homeless Day, he’s settled in a new home, has improved health and is feeling much more positive about the future.

Paul Vale’s* life changed when, after living with friends for several months, his property was taken over by drug users and he began to be financially exploited.

He was forced to leave his home, and after finding himself unsure about where to go, was supported by mental health services who found him a series of spaces in temporary accommodation, such as bed and breakfasts and bedsits.

Paul said: “It was an awful time. I was moving from one place to another and I had to leave the temporary accommodation after a physical assault that left me scared and unsure where to go next.

“I started to sofa surf around various friend’s houses and ended up sleeping on the streets. I just didn’t know where to go or what to do.”

After rough sleeping for several months, Paul got a bed and support under the Greater Manchester Mayor’s A Bed for Every Night (ABEN) scheme. He began to engage with Shelter, the delivery partner of the Social Impact Bond programme in Salford, and they referred him to ForHousing for support.

Cat Taylor from ForHousing said: “When we met Paul we not only wanted to ensure he had access to a warm, safe and secure home of his own, but that he could also access the care that really suited his own individual needs. Paul knew that his history of dependencies was having a negative impact on his mental health, and he was really proactive in wanting to gain further support around it.”

A suitable home was found for Paul in Salford and the ForHousing team also made sure he got both furniture and decoration materials to help him make his house into a home.

Paul said: “I am really settled in my new home now. I used to have problems with taking my medication for my mental health regularly. Now I’m here, I’ve taken control of it and am managing my medication much better, which is improving my mental health too.

“Working with ForHousing to find a home of my own has been the first step towards a better life for me and I want to say thank you to the team there and everyone who has supported me.”

Paul has been abstinent for a period of 12 months, and is no longer using drugs or alcohol. He keeps regular medical appointments, and has been successfully managing his own home for the past few months.

For more information on ForHousing and World Homeless Day, please visit www.forhousing.co.uk

*Name changed to protect tenant’s identity