Help Received: New accommodation
Up until 2013 I was always a hard-working, energetic, helpful person, who played sports and coached young people in sport including my son’s middle school football team and brought my son up on my own since he was 4, until a car accident in 2013 which greatly affected my physical health. I was diagnosed with arthritis of the spine which prevented my movement and activities to an extent that I could not continue playing for my local cricket team at Merrow cricket club. Then in 2015 I was having chest problems and was diagnosed with a heart condition which ended my participation in all physical activities. This brought on my poor mental health and depression which I hid for years until I sought help from my GP. Now I have to continually take 4 types of medication to be well enough to function.
In May of 2020, I was in the unfortunate predicament of being made homeless by no fault of my own and due to contacting HOST I was able to secure the needed funds to move into a property thus saving me from homelessness and possibly even my life as I’m severely depressed for the reasons I’ve already given being on the streets would have not been possible in my physical state. I had few options for the future, so securing help at that moment in my life was a godsend and blessing, without the kind generosity of Real Change I may not have been here to give an account of this positive experience. I am slowly getting on with life in a more positive light due to being saved from a life of destitution. I will be eternally grateful for the help I received and hope that others will benefit from a small community of empathetic charitable organisations such as this.
Unfortunately due to the backwards changes to the benefits system I was unable to secure any financial help as the system did not award enough points to qualify for PIP, even though my doctor had been signing me off from work since 2014 and by all accounts class me as disabled for the medical reasons already given. If it wasn’t for the help I received from HOST I would not have secured help with rental payments going forward and I am still receiving payments towards my rent until such time as I can hopefully pay my rent myself.
I came to know about HOST at Vaughan House because they had helped my son by giving him accommodation when he was 20 and sofa surfing. He encouraged me to seek help from them, after my initial contact where they took my details and predicament they contacted me back to give me help as I was at that time being evicted from my previous dwelling where I had lived for 17 years and never missed a payment in rent. The letting agent tried to evict me due to seeking legal counsel mistakes made by the letting agent were identified which enabled me to delay eviction on more than 1 occasion by which time COVID 19 restrictions were in place, fortunately, the courts were closed at this time which enabled me to find a property with a landlord that accepted me as a tenant. HOST helped me with initial advice and gave me a contact sheet with names and numbers which they thought will help me. Although this proved fruitless it gave me hope, I eventually found the property that I am now living in through an online advert that I contacted directly, HOST was there when I needed them.
The property that I’m in is a lot smaller than my previous dwelling but the agent is helpful – he keeps in regular contact and I can phone him anytime I need to, he is much better than my previous letting agent. I am looking forward to a much more positive outlook than I have had for some time. The neighbours are nice, the area is quiet so I feel more at peace than I have done, without the help of HOST and Real Change I would not have much hope.
The Real Change You Can Make
Support from Real Change and HOST has saved Ian from living on the streets and given him hope when he needed it most. We wish Ian all the very best for the future.
Real Change Guildford is a campaign to end homelessness in the borough by preventing homelessness in the first place. We are here to ensure no one becomes homeless for the sake of a few pounds. For those that are currently homeless, Real Change can support people to exit the streets through practical support. This could be providing rent in advance, white goods, or some respite to clear your head, some new shoes, a kettle, or even a brand new bed!
Real Change is a community approach owned by the community and committed to ending and preventing homelessness. There’s so much we can do to help. Your little change can make a big change, a real change for Guildford.
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