“I’d a good job.
I’d savings in the bank.
I’d a family.
Yet, I never thought that I would become homeless.” – Fred, 49
In 2017, after a relationship break-up, Fred ended up leaving his home with only a suitcase and nowhere to go. After sleeping in his car for a fortnight, a local church group gave him some help and pointed him in the direction of Simon Community NI.
After meeting with the charity, he was allocated a support worker called Michelle who worked in the Floating Support Service based at Kilcooley. She talked to him about his immediate needs and, recognising health implications related to a severe spinal injury, advised on alternative housing options.
Using her experience and relationships with Bangor’s NIHE team, Michelle found Fred temporary accommodation within the community – a fully furnished flat, where he lived for a year. The cost to rent the flat was almost 60% of his benefits, which caused the client high levels of stress and impacted his mental health. However, in the long run the higher rent was a short-term pain for a long-term gain with Michelle being honest with Fred and advising that if he accepted an unsuitable housing offer then he may never be offered what his health needed.
Michelle was right! In May 2018, Fred moved in to a new bungalow and has reclaimed his independence and peace of mind back.
“The Floating Support team didn’t stop helping me once I got the keys to my new home. They continued to support me in applying for a Simon Community NI hardship bursary and discretionary payment from the NIHE. I am still a client with them and they are now helping me look into voluntary work and education, as well as helping me with budgeting and setting up my new home.”
“My home is slowly coming together, The Floating support team have really helped me turn my life around and I urge anyone who needs a little support to a pick up the phone and give the Floating Support Team a call, you will be surprised how much they care and the difference they can help you make.” – Fred
To access the service, contact us in your area:
- North Armagh & South Down (16-25yr olds): t. 028 3833 4949 e. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kilcooley (17yrs updates): t. 028 9149 0666 e. email@example.com
*Simon Community NI respect those who use their services. So, while their stories are true, client names and images may have been changed to protect their privacy.