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10th May 2022

Sanctuary Supported Living

Stock image of a young man sitting on some steps holding his head in his hands

Content warning – this article discusses suicidal feelings.

After moving on from a ‘doss-house,’ David was struggling with poor mental and physical health, before Sanctuary Supported Living’s Haverhill Homeless Supported Housing helped him back on an even keel.

The ‘doss house,’ which served as stop gap accommodation for David, was not fit for living. An unsuitably dirty building, accompanied by cold, damp and the sounds of arguments, threats of violence, moaning and swearing - the poor conditions were naturally taking its toll on David, who was more vulnerable than ever and battling with severe mental health problems and ill health.

In 2021, he was referred to Heazeworth House (part of Sanctuary Supported Living’s Haverhill Homelessness Supported Housing), which provides supported housing and personalised support for adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. David was struggling with walking difficulties, but he was happy to accept a first-floor room for the time being after the team reassured him that they would move him as soon as a ground-floor property became available.

Shortly after moving in, David was still experiencing increased levels of stress, depression, and isolation, and he was found on the streets in a suicidal state. Recognising the signs, Haverhill Homeless Supported Housing staff actively listened to David, and encouraged him to go to hospital for his own safety and wellbeing - which he did. Whilst in hospital, it was discovered that David had a dislocated hip which had gone undiagnosed for some time.

After being discharged from hospital, David was more concerned about the stairs and injuring himself further. With this in mind, staff at the service came together to discuss how they could support David with his needs and make him feel at ease. A self-contained, ground-floor flat was becoming available at one of the service’s other buildings in Haverhill, The Limes, and this was immediately allocated to David.

"If it wasn’t for the staff, I wouldn’t be here"

David, resident

Since moving into his flat, David is feeling more confident thanks to the support of the team. He said: “I’m very grateful to everyone at Haverhill Homeless Supported Housing and their compassion – if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here. My low self-esteem and vulnerability made me feel like I should push people away, but I can see that the staff here genuinely want to help me. As I overcome my fears, I’m feeling much better.”