Help Received: A path off the streets
Jasmine turned 62 in August 2018. She had been rough sleeping in Guildford for over 10 years. The thought of facing another cold winter living on the streets filled her with fear.
As with many homeless people we work with, Jasmine experienced significant adversity and instability in early life. This continued to impact significantly on her in later life. Despite this, for many years Jasmine persevered and managed to hold down a full-time job, working nights and using recreational drugs to sustain her. Over time, her mental health deteriorated and eventually, her use of drugs became an uncontrollable addiction and Jasmine ended up living on the streets of Guildford.
Things went from bad to worse as Jasmines drug use escalated her mental health deteriorated and she was unable to maintain any form of emergency or temporary accommodation. Following on from a short prison sentence Jasmine was back on the streets of Guildford. By this time, Jasmine’s awareness that life was passing her by grew and she realised she didn’t want to continue the stressful and dangerous rough sleeping lifestyle she had lived for the past 10 years.
Jasmine was referred to the Indigo service by the Homeless Outreach and Support Team (HOST). Indigo is based within the HOST team and provides specialist mental health and wellbeing support directly to individuals living on the street. Indigo worked in partnership with Guildford Action whose day service supported Jasmine and with Guildford Borough Council who sourced suitable long- term accommodation for Jasmine.
However, we knew bricks and mortar alone wouldn’t provide the solution as a home is so much more than this. Once a suitable property was found and ongoing support for Jasmine was in place, Indigo made an application to Real Change Guildford to help fund this transition.
The Real Change You Can Make
Real Change funding helped Jasmine to:
- Buy essential furniture for her new property, which helped turn a building into her home.
- Pay upfront for basic utilities (electricity, water etc.) and household items which helped Jasmine to remain stable while her benefits changed and reduced the risk of developing debt during the first few weeks.
- Cover travel expenses back into Guildford town centre. So, Jasmine could continue to maintain her support network and gently ease herself back into a more regular lifestyle.
£400 helped make a house a home for Jasmine. It also refreshed her faith in humanity and helped her start a new life on the right foot. Jasmine has enjoyed her new home for over 6 months now, her drug use has reduced significantly and her mental health is stable. She now feels part of a community and volunteers regularly to help others. We wish Jasmine 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.
Help us to save lives by changing lives, come and get involved!