"I would like to say thank you for helping to turn my life around."

As part of the National Housing Federation's Starts at Home campaign, we spoke to one of our residents in Sunderland to hear how Thirteen's Rough Sleepers Accommodation Programme has helped her to live more independently.

Starts At Home General Message

1 Sep 2023

“Before moving to the Sunderland Rough Sleeper Accommodation Programme, I was living with my nana and I was her carer.

“I was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with Crohn’s, which sent me into depression. I attempted suicide twice while I was in hospital.

“Because of my suicide attempts, my family told me I couldn’t move back in with my nana and I became homeless.

“I moved into emergency accommodation, and then I was referred to Thirteen.

“When I moved into my flat, I was being supported with my mental health because of my depression and suicide attempts. I was allocated a support worker at Thirteen who I met with every week.

“When I moved into my flat, I was still working with the crisis team, but after a few weeks they discharged me.

"My mental health declined, so my support worker referred me to them again and I am currently working with the cognitive behavioural therapy team. 

“My support worker helped me with budgeting and supported me to maximise my benefits.

“When I first went into the service I was on basic Universal Credit, but because of my physical and mental health needs my support worker advised and supported me to apply for the Limited Capability for Work element of Universal Credit, which I was awarded and I am waiting for a decision on a PIP assessment which my support worker attended with me.

“I felt secure when I lived in the scheme because of the door entry and the intercom system.

“There was someone there to offer me guidance but not tell me what to do.

“I liked the fact that my support worker had enough faith in me to put me forward for a Thirteen general needs flat when it came available and supported me to get furniture and white goods.

“I feel that I have grown in confidence and I can manage much better day to day since I started working with the staff at Thirteen. My support was always about what I needed not about what they thought.

“Before I was admitted to hospital, I didn’t know the support that was available. Without a service like this, people like me would be a lot worse off.

“I don’t know where I would be, and I don’t really like to think about it, but I do know I would not be where I am now without the support I have received. I would just like to say thank you for helping to turn my life around.”