“Keeping me on track” – K’s Story

K’s aspirations are to gain sustainable housing and then become self-employed, buying and selling large batteries to ensure that their use is maximised. He is also be interested in becoming a support worker for people with learning difficulties.

K was living in a van with his Border collie. He was reguarly getting evicted and moved on. He has struggles with his mental health and depression.
His physical health suffered as well; he has tendonitis in his fingers and suffers with neck and back pain, which impacts on his ability to complete manual labour.

He had experience of working as a painter and decorator, a labourer, driver and had previously worked supporting people with head injuries. K first engaged with Inspired to Achieve on the Positive People Programme last year.

K was homeless and was at that time engaging with a Housing Officer from Taunton Borough Council to secure accommodation. The Housing Officer suggested that he find another home for his dog to be able to apply for suitable accommodation or hostel. He is not prepared to lose his dog.

From February to May 2018 K was liaising with his housing officer to gain housing with no success. From June to September there were regular phone calls made by K and the Change Coach to the housing officer for updates with no success.

We were then put through to the Homeless Team and spoke to a Homeless Support Officer, who suggested a hostel called Lindley House, who would also accommodate K’s Border collie.

The Change Coach phoned K and referred him to the Rough Sleeping Team (a new initiative). K was reluctant to accept a hostel, but it was the only option to move forward. K was offered and accepted a room at a Hostel which also accommodated his dog.

“I have experience of working as a painter and decorator and have supported people with head injuries. I moved from Scotland to Somerset several years ago and have been homeless ever since.

“Everyday living challenges were keeping my clothes clean, cooking and accessing services due to the lack of an address. I found every day a challenge due to my poor mental health. I felt despondent and lacked motivation because I could not think of a solution.

“The Inspired to Achieve Change Coach motivated me through monthly coaching sessions to remain positive, and continue to apply for appropriate accommodation, access employability advice and guidance, prepare for self-employment and improve my digital skills (with Cosmic).

“It has been difficult for me to remain positive in such challenging times, I have found it impossible to seek employment and develop my business idea with no permanent abode and the constant threat of eviction.

“The Change Coach ensured that I did not lose focus, when appointments were missed she re-engaged me without delay to keep me on track.

“I want to work with people with head injuries and have now applied to complete a Level 2 Social work Course with Bridgwater and Taunton College

“I am not impressed with the room in the Hostel, but I understand that this is a stepping stone to acquiring my own tenancy, and it is also an address to enable me to move forward. Unlike my dog who loves the hostel as he receives lots of attention and there are lots of local walks!”