Read Temporary Accommodation [Part 1] first – See below article for link.
“Just one more bump in the road, another hurdle I’ve had to leap over. But i no longer feel lost. I feel determined. I’m not going to allow these fuckers to dictate my life!”
After 10 minutes of wallowing in self-pity I gave my head a wobble. I was literally in the shit, with no-where to go – what could i do? First steps – I returned to the guest house. In hindsight, or maybe as a result of a complete lack of trust in the system, I’d kept the key to my previous room so I duly went back there.
I next got on the phone to my support worker and asked her WTF was going on? She honestly couldn’t have been more apologetic and said she would find out exactly what had gone wrong. I was informed that I could stay at the guest house in the interim, for however many days that it was required for me to do so.
Despite being frustrated and extremely angry I somehow remained calm throughout the entire conversation, albeit it with grinding teeth. A week passes by and i get a phone call out of the blue, “this time”, my support worker said, “it really is a place in a hostel but you will have to complete a small interview beforehand.” This would be taking place the very next day so I agreed to go but to be honest, I wasn’t going to hold my breath. As usual I turned up a little ahead of time, ID in hand, and was politely shown into what turned out to be the main communal area. A few minutes later a lady called Judith came and spoke to me, a mass of paperwork in her hands. Seeing this I just inwardly sighed and thought ‘here we go again’.
She kindly offered me refreshments and merely said “relax, everything will be okay”. This was completely unexpected and it immediately put me at ease, I didn’t realise it at the time but Judith, with merely a glimpse, saw that I was in some form of distress and acted professionally and with extremely good insight. After a few minutes, and several copious gulps of coffee I felt relaxed enough to continue.
Judith then gave me a more detailed introduction of herself, her job role and what expectations as a resident I would have to actively participate in. Following this she asked me several questions about my health conditions, whether i engaged in drug or alcohol use and a brief description about myself. The paperwork it turned out, was my tenancy agreement, which she went through completely and then asked me to sign. And with that signature, I was a resident, no fuss, no hassle and certainly no feelings of rejection. I was elated! Judith quickly showed me around the building and took me to my room. It was much larger than I expected if I’m honest.
She continued speaking, the room was mine, and I had absolute privacy (except in extreme situations where access was required for reasons such as duty of care etc). She went on to further explain that I had the use of a shared kitchen and shared use of bathroom/shower facilities. I was nearly crying at this point, Judith had made me feel so welcome from start to finish and my gratefulness was pretty much bursting out of me. Due to Covid restrictions I spent a total of 7 months in the Hostel.
During this time the staff never stopped helping me with whatever i needed, they respected my long-term health issues and helped me to find a suitable property and assisted me in attending all viewings. In return I cooked meals for residents, including over the Christmas period, where, in my opinion, no-one should be alone, and I also arranged group social activities for everyone to enjoy if they so wished.
The time I spent there was very enjoyable and mentally stabilising. I was able to reflect on the previous several years and it was at that point I believe my healing process began. So here I am now, 19 months later, my residency is now secure and my health is improving slightly.
I am overjoyed to be a reporter for Groundswell and I can honestly say that for the first time in almost a decade I am looking forward to a much brighter and better future.
Photo by Mat Amp Instagram : Matamp67