John is a 22 year old care leaver who since leaving care has lived an unsettled way of life, living in hostels and sofa surfing. He was initially referred by NACRO to The Young Person’s Project at the start of the year, upon his release from prison. It was decided that a multi agency approach was needed with John which entailed working with NACRO, Barnardos and The Stars Project based at Caia Park Partnership in order to address his current living situation, mental health needs, substance misuse issues, and to access training and support.
Primarily for our project homeless prevention was at the forefront of his support plan. Therefore a referal was made to Clwyd Alan Housing Association in order for him to access supported housing facilities within the local area. John attended an interview at Hurst Newton and was awarded a room with them. John moved into Hurst Newton immediately and quickly expanded his social group and also received a further support network from staff. Historically John used alcohol as a coping mechanism to deal with issues stemming from his time in care. This behavior ultimately meant that he would get himself into vulnerable situations when under the influence of alcohol. As part of his support plan he was referred to the Community Mental Health Team were he was diagnosed as having a personality disorder, and is currently prescibed medication for this condition.
John spent 6 months at Hurst Newton and came to the decision that he wanted to move forward in his life in order to live more independently. He found a room in a shared house and through the VRF Grant scheme a deposit was issued to John in order for him to move into a private rental property-shared accommodation. Although John’s housing needs had now been addressed it can sometimes prove difficult for young people to move from hostel accommodation where they are only obliged to pay a small amount of top up rent, to their own accommodation where they have many bills to pay.
Therefore as part of a resettlement programme we are continuing to support John to develop the skills needed to ensure that he is able to pay all his bills and live independently. While his alcohol and drug intake reduced, his feelings of isolation and hurt lingered. Feelings and emotions emerged that had previously been suppressed by alcohol. With intensive support from the project John found new coping mechanisms to deal with his anguish and pain and has dramatically reduced his alcohol intake. He has recently started a full-time course at Coleg Cambria and continues to receive support from the project in terms of managing his own tenancy, motivational interventions and relapse prevention.