Posts Tagged ‘anger’
Posted in addiction, emotional support, Health, heroin, homeless, Leeds, practical support, problematic behaviour, rough sleeping, Service user stories, street homelessness, tagged anger, homeless, outreach, rough sleeping, street homelessness on June 10, 2010| Leave a Comment »
I first met Alice when I received a call from a drop-in centre saying that they had someone who urgently had to go to the Homelessness Advice and Prevention service for emergency accommodation but would need someone to accompany her. They can not always accompany service users themselves as the centre is generally very busy and their support is based on the premises
When I met Alice I did an initial assessment of her support needs. She was 42 years old, rough-sleeping and suffered from a speech impediment and learning disabilities. She told me herself that she has anger management issues and can get verbally aggressive. She has a tendency to get frustrated when she feels worried about her situation and thinks that she’s not going to get help or support. She promised me she would try and stay calm. Alice also used to have a problem with alcohol but she had recently stopped drinking. It was my concern that she was not accessing any support and therefore increasing chance of relapse.
Alice had been renting a private flat for nearly 2 years until recently when an incident of verbal abuse towards her landlord resulted in her losing her tenancy. She had been homeless some years ago but had been supported into getting her own tenancy. When Alice lost the tenancy she was not engaged with any supportive services. She initially self-referred to a hostel, however lost her place shortly after for the same reasons as she lost her flat. Alice had been rough-sleeping for a couple of weeks when I met her and had been subjected to physical abuse during that time, leaving her very vulnerable.
We went to the Homelessness Advice and Prevention service but found on arrival that the local authority had discharged a duty to house Alice due to her behaviour in the past. This means they will not provide her with emergency temporary accommodation, although she could still put in bids for council tenancies. Alice was clearly becoming distressed and we left the service. I tried contacting the hostels in Leeds but none would take her because of the duty discharge. We were fortunate that day in running in to a friend of Alice’s who agreed to take her in for a few days.
I hadn’t been able to track Alice down for a couple of weeks, when she phoned me. She’d managed to self-refer to a hostel as she’d known a member of staff who’d refused to see her carry on sleeping on the streets. We met up and continued supportive contact. Alice was doing well and keen to get moved on in to longer term accommodation. I communicated with her workers at her hostel and together we helped Alice to place bids every week for a tenancy of her own as well as following up on other accommodation options. Alice phoned me roughly once a week to go food shopping with her and we worked on her budgeting skills and healthy eating. We also arranged and attended an appointment at the emergency dentist when she needed teeth pulling out. Alice is now engaged with support from her hostel key-worker and a specialist housing agency. She is accessing medical and dental care and is in the process of tackling her anger management issues.
I think the support I offer Alice works as she knows I am not confined to one space but that I am able to focus on whatever or wherever her needs dictate. I will visit her in her current hostel which is a 15 min drive outside of the city centre, or can walk to the doctors or catch a bus with her. Most of my work has been accompanying Alice when she has a new challenge to face, and does not feel confident, the lack of this vital support in the past has been where Alice’s anger management issue arises which then has the knock-on effect of reducing her other support options. When I first met her she did not have the regular and appropriate support that she needed. Now I know that she is working on the issues that she has. Recently, Alice was nearly out on the streets again, but this time, she had some great support around her and the crisis was resolved quickly. There is still a lot of work to do and Simon on the Streets and other agencies will continue to mutually support Alice, preventing initial homelessness and working on a long term support plan to move Alice towards a point where she no longer needs support.