RF Supported Housing - Starts at Home

Recovery Focus is getting behind a new national campaign that aims to ensure that people who need extra support will always have a home that meets their needs.

Starts at Home brings together a coalition of charities, housing associations and cross-party politicians calling on the Government to ensure that every person who needs extra help through supported housing gets it.

The Government is currently reviewing how supported housing is funded and is expected to finalise its plans next year. We believe that the Government must take this opportunity to fully fund supported housing, and put these vital services on a sustainable footing for the long term.

Recovery Focus has joined this campaign to help persuade the Government to ensure that every person who needs extra support has a home that meets their needs. We’re sharing some of the inspiring stories about people using our supported housing services and the positive impacts it has had on their lives.

On joining the campaign Recovery Focus Chief executive Derek Caren said:

“We want to do our bit to help persuade the Government that it needs to ensure that every person who needs extra support has a home that meets their needs. We want to tell positive stories of people who have gained independence, confidence and stability through supported housing. We want to create an alliance of organisations and cross-party politicians to back Starts at Home.”

How can you get involved?

There are several ways that people can get involved in this campaign. Firstly if you or a family member have a positive experience of supported housing through Recovery Focus or its partners and wish to share this story please fill in the contact form at the bottom of this page.

You can follow and get involved in the campaign on social media on the Recovery Focus Twitter account and also through the #StartsAtHome hashtag.

The campaign itself will be evolving over time so please do keep an eye on this webpage for future announcements.

People’s stories

Heather’s Story

I have mental health problems, which is why I need to live in supported housing. Previously I was living in shared housing and had problems when someone exploited me for money. I have also previously lived in hospital and then a high-care service.

Then I was given the chance to move to a Richmond Fellowship scheme into my own supported flat. This was a breath of fresh air, I know I can lock my front door, and I am happier in myself at the property. I feel settled and am happy with my current housing situation. I can go to Andrew, a recovery worker, for support, and we meet in town and go for coffee, and he gives me support when I need it. He always makes time to see me and help when I am in distress.

Here I feel happy, secure and independent. I have more freedom, the area of the property is much easier for getting into town. I can go for coffee with my recovery worker and be supported to the local shops. My recovery worker will help me with food shopping when my mental health dips and I don’t feel able to do this by myself. If I wasn’t able to live in supported housing, I would probably have ended up back in hospital.

Supported housing has given me the confidence to be myself. I identify as trans and have had lots of support around this from my recovery worker. He helped arrange for me to go to the Gay Pride event in Portsmouth, and enabled me to go by sorting out my carer with my medication. He helped me get to the event and looked after me while I was there, and we had a laugh and I felt relaxed in the crowds. Without the support I wouldn’t have gone to the event.

At the event we went to the Richmond Fellowship stand, and my recovery worker helped me find information about being transgender. He introduced me to a transgender woman and we chatted, which was really helpful for me. My support worker went above and beyond to help me get to the event, I had an amazing day and felt part of the community and got to celebrate being trans and not be judged because of it.

James’ Story

James is 58, and became street homeless in 2015. He was diagnosed with psychosis and schizophrenia in December 2015, and also suffers from asthma and reduced mobility due to back problems.

He was placed in a local homeless hostel in December 2015, and after being referred for housing he moved into our Southampton Supported Housing scheme in March 2016. After moving in he said: “I feel that this has given me a safe environment in which to continue my recovery. I am no longer sleeping rough and this has reduced my vulnerability. If I hadn’t moved here I would be sofa surfing and sleeping rough. My physical health would have declined and I may have ended up in hospital or even died. I feel that now I have a safe home, I am supported with letters that I don’t understand and have support for my medical appointments. I feel like with support I can gain the skills required to help me move back to independent accommodation.”

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