Breaking the cycle of homelessness after 20 years rough sleeping

Fred*, following over 20 years rough sleeping, found support with Thirteen and has now successfully sustained his tenancy for over 8 months. Read Fred’s story here...

Man holding phone looking out at houses

22 May 2024

With a history of substance misuse, and multiple offences, Fred found it extremely difficult to break the cycle of homelessness.  

The subject of multiple ASBO’s, Fred had been banned from the Middlesbrough area, but following another stay in hospital and upon reaching crisis point, was referred to Thirteen’s Stockton Rough Sleeping Accommodation by the Local Authority Homeless Team and was accepted into Supported Accommodation.  

Over the last year Fred has worked with Thirteen and several different support services, including local organisation CGL, in relation to his substance misuse, as well as engaging with Adult Social Care, and being subject to probation, an active probation worker.  

Although Fred’s case is highly complex, he is open about his substance misuse and the negative associations he has formed, particularly his own vulnerability, having been previously cuckooed in a property with a different landlord.  

Thirteen were able to provide a home in a more suitable area for Fred, alongside additional security, such as CCTV and fob entry communal doors. The team helped Fred to make a successful PIP claim of £1,500 in backdated payments. This money enabled Fred to buy a TV amongst other personal items, giving him a great sense of pride. As part of his support, Thirteen also helped him to open a bank account, something he had not had in over 15 years, and helped him to set up his bills and utilities.  

Fred said having his own bank account made him “feel like he was part of society again.” 

Whilst Fred’s journey in Supported Accommodation has been impacted at times by substance misuse, he continues to engage with specialist support services and his GP to address his physical health needs, something he previously did not do until he reached crisis point. He has a dedicated key worker who has worked closely with the Local Authority Homeless Team and Fred to help him maintain communication with all parties, this has ensured he remains safe and free from re-offending. 

Fred has now successfully sustained his tenancy with Thirteen for over 8 months, breaking the cycle of homelessness. He has only had one hospital visit in this time and no Police involvement, making savings to the public purse.  

Fred now plans to move on from Supported Accommodation and live independently in a general needs property. He has registered with both My Thirteen and other housing providers and continues to engage with the service to prepare him for a successful move. 

*Customer name has been changed to protect privacy.