Our support worker in Bradford, Mat, who is new to us and quite new to our service user group is asking some great questions! For instance yesterday he spent a few hours trying to support a guy to get some housing who had just been evicted from a hostel. As always with our service users things are never straight forward and there is probably more to learn, but the reason for his eviction (or at least a contributing factor) is to do with him either having alcohol or consuming alcohol on the premises.
The challenge for Mat is that the guy only moved into this hostel about a week ago. He has a massive alcohol problem. So Mat’s questions are why was this person referred to and housed by a hostel that has such strict rules about alcohol on the premises. The job in hand today should have been done a week ago and without the challenge of a recent eviction making supported housing providers nervous about this guy’s behaviour. We’re confident that he’s no angel, but if square pegs are forced into round holes something has to break and it’s usually the vulnerable that come off worse.
My worry is that we live in a society where it’s all too easy to point at people like our service users and say ‘it’s your own fault, you should behave properly’ but when you consider this not unfamiliar story of how someone was set up to fail maybe the fingers that are pointing need to take a u-turn!