Stephen's move to supported housing in Walkden

Stephen, aged 56, and a tenant for around five years was struggling with mental health issues including depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

He was socially isolated having no family and rarely going out of the house. He had suffered abuse as a child and this had a profound effect on him. He found it difficult to keep his home clean and tidy and had problems managing his money. He lived only for his dogs, but when they had to be put down he began contemplating ending his life.

Stephen was living in general needs housing in Little Hulton. It became clear the accommodation no longer suited his needs.

Stephen had stated he found it difficult to relate to men, so a female team member visited him to complete an assessment of his housing related support needs.

The team member identified that since moving there Stephen's needs had changed and mobility issues meant accommodation with wheelchair access would be essential, to promote his independence. He also needed accommodation with support on site.

A bungalow was identified for Stephen at a specialist accommodation (sheltered) scheme in Walkden, Salford. Stephen moved into this accommodation in February 2018.

Stephen's move to supported housing has improved his wellbeing and transformed his life. He is no longer socially isolated and frequently works with the supported housing staff who provide him with emotional and practical support. They have particularly helped him with managing his money as he is very forgetful.

There is a communal lounge at the scheme and although Stephen still likes his own company, he also enjoys participating in activities that promote his wellbeing and allow him to socialise with other people. He is looking forward to joining everyone on this year's Christmas trip.

Thanks to a ramp, Stephen can now get in and out of his accommodation in his wheelchair much more easily. This enables him to be more active and connected with the local community. He also has a courtyard area to park his wheelchair which is fenced and makes him feel secure.

Stephen has been able to bring a cat with him to the bungalow and this has provided him with companionship.

Specialist accommodation (supported housing) means that Stephen can live independently while feeling much safer and more connected. He finds comfort knowing that there is someone there when he needs them and says that the supporting house staff are "like family to me, they really care."

He feels so secure here that he now opens his windows and will sit outside in his garden or by the front door. These are things he would never have done in his previous accommodation.

Stephen said: "If it wasn't for the move to supported housing I think I would have taken my own life."

The supported housing team will continue to review Stephen’s housing related support needs on a regular basis, helping him to access the advice and support he needs to continue to live independently.