I am a UK citizen of 53 years. I have owned my own houses, and never had any money worries. That was up until Aug 2012, after a relationship went badly wrong, I then found myself in the back of my car nowhere to live, no sense of belonging anywhere and very limited money for clothes/food.
One evening I met another homeless person, he introduced me to The Purfleet Trust. From that first day my life changed. I no longer felt isolated; it gave me the help and support I needed to get back on my feet!
I now have my own place a base to work from, thanks to the staff at Purfleet; they continue to help with job searches and advice, what more can I wish for. I shall be forever grateful to them all; they are always there to help us all in need!
Owen first came to Purfleet in July 2014. He found himself street homeless after a relationship breakdown which he attributes to the sudden death of his dad and his inability to cope with the
Although Owen was homeless and dealing with the bereavement of his Dad this didn’t stop him trying his best to get back on his feet. However, Owen found it a struggle to find anyone who could help him as he did not reach the threshold or meet the criteria for a specialist support service. Then a client of our service suggested he accompanied him to Purfleet where he was assured he would get the help he needed.
Owen would come into the daycentre every day, job-searching and looking for accommodation.
Within a couple of weeks he was offered accommodation at Genesis Housing. Owen moved into Genesis and continued to work with Genesis and Purfleet productively and within 8 months was offered his own accommodation.
Owen now volunteers his time at The Olive Branch charity shop. He has also
just completed his level one in Retail within the Purfleet with a pass mark of 100%! Owen’s retail tutor was so impressed with him that she has asked him to shadow her and assist her on the new level one retail course. He is also in the process of completing his PTTLS teaching course.
His progress over the last 8 months has been inspirational. Owen has a great ‘can do’ attitude and is currently supporting new learners on the retail course as well as helping informally in the day centre helping his peers to be able to use the computers for learning and job search.
Owen’s goal is to one day reconnect with his children. This has been the strength through his entire decision making and although he has his lows at times this keeps him focused.
Ken has been rough sleeping for several years and he was accessing the Pathways Centre on a regular basis. The Pathway Centre was a secure place for him to stay during the daytime where he could express his concerns and worries. He was also given a shower, food and a hot drink as some new clothes.
Ken has been leading a very chaotic lifestyle and was not able to maintain independent tenancy so he fell into a regular pattern of alcohol abuse and rough sleeping. Because of that he had fallen out with family and this made him feel very isolated and lonely.
In September Ken was released from prison and he felt that he was ready to change his life and to accept our help. He was accepted in to our Pathways Training House and moved into his own room in September 2013. Consistent support and encouragement provided by our dedicated Intensive Support Worker helps Ken get back on his feet. Ken is still working on his alcohol dependency but now he feels he can achieve his goals.
Ken has since taken part in our Jog On course and his life has turned around and changed dramatically. He has gone from being hopeless and depressed to optimistic about his future.
Sara has battled with alcohol addiction for over 20 years. This has caused a marriage breakdown and the loss of her property.
Sara was employed as a domestic at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for 12 years, managing to uphold a competent role throughout her sickness, but last year the alcohol got the better of her, it caused liver failure, seizures and at one point her heart stopped. This unfortunately caused Sara to lose her position at the Queen Elizabeth. She had hit rock bottom.
This was a turning point in Sara’s life.
Sara first came into the Purfleet Trust in December 2013 after hearing about us from the NRP. She was immediately interested in our Hospitality course. Through further conversation Sara and
I discussed supporting her in job search and using the computer as she was very keen to gain employment.
Sara completed the Hospitality course and would come in once a week for job search and a general chat about how she was feeling.
She gained employment as a cleaner at Debenhams clothes store. Sara said “Although it is tiring work going back into employment was the best decision I made, I love it.”
Due to suffering years of emotional abuse and domestic violence from my ex partner I finally decided I could not be put through this anymore as this was now affecting my child. I rang Woman’s Aid and they gave me an address of a refuge in Swaffham so packed and few things and drove there. When I arrived everyone was lovely and each had their own story regarding why they were there.
I went to King’s Lynn council and made a homeless application to be housed in the King’s Lynn area. Kirsty also said that there was a homeless charity called Purfleet that may be able to help regarding private letting. I had to wait to be referred and an appointment came through quiet quickly for me to go to see an advisor.
I saw a lady called Hannah and she was lovely we did the initial paperwork and she said that she may have a property for me and my son. I viewed the property on the Friday and the next Thursday I had the keys. I was so happy that me and my son could start a new life and had a house to live in. Hannah helped me from start to finish and kindly gave me the bond for the property so I could move and also sorted out housing benefit.
I am now fully moved in and have got my child into school and am now looking for a job.
Thanks again to Purfleet as without this great help that I received from them I wouldn't have a house today.
Teresa has been brought up in King’s Lynn, has a history of mental health illness and suffers from anxiety and low self- esteem.
She does her best to manage the barriers that present in her life and is always keen to learn new skills.
Teresa is a volunteer at the Olive Branch Charity shop. She finds occupying her time in a productive way is very beneficial to her mental health.
While taking part in the Pathway to Wellbeing Workshop Teresa felt her confidence greatly improve.
The Healthy Eating and Reducing Waste session brought to her attention ways of saving money which reduced stress.
Engaging in workshops about confidence, anxiety and wellbeing Teresa found it very beneficial sharing life experiences and coping strategies with other members of the group.
On the Bounce workshop she was inspired by what the Trainer shared about his life experiences.
Every workshop helped her in different aspects of her life.
At the end of the workshops Teresa faced her greatest challenge. A bus trip to the seaside was arranged. This caused Teresa a lot of anxiety but with group support she shared a great experience.
A statement from Teresa:
“I got a lot out of workshops. It was great to mix with others; we formed a close group and supported each other.”
My name is Mark and I am 39 years of age years. For the last 2 years till June 2013 I have been living with a friend of mine until a complication occurred with the amount of rent.
I shortly gained employment which meant that my benefits ceased, but unfortunately the job did not work out and was laid off due to unforeseen circumstances. When I returned to claiming benefits this was when I realised that I was sanctioned by the Council of benefit and I was paying the incorrect amount of rent to my friend. Sadly, my friend was unable to support me financially and I was asked to find alternative accommodation.
I have suffered depression and anxiety for over 2 years which makes life extremely hard and trying at the best of times. During the time I stayed at my friends, I was relieved but at the same time the environment could become a bit chaotic, but when I was asked to leave my mental health problems spiralled out of control.
As I had no place to go I began sofa surfing with friends and relatives in various locations. I felt very stressful and frustrated with my situation and unsure of where to turn for help. At this time I was under the care of the Discovery Centre and a member of staff at the centre referred me to the Purfleet Trust to see if they could help me. I saw Sam who was supportive and understanding, took my details and said that she will do all she can to find appropriate accommodation.
Within 6 weeks I was offered accommodation and the Purfleet Trust ensured that all the paperwork was completed and processed. The only concern I had, was a cash flow problem that I was unable to meet the full payment of the first month’s rent. This was successfully solved by negotiation with Purfleet and also at the desiccation of the Landlord that only half payment was provided to enable me to gain accommodation.
I was delighted and extremely excited that I am now able to say that I have my own space and my safety and security needs have been fulfilled. As I was still experiencing problems with my benefits, Jelena immediately took charge of the situation and contacted the relevant people to reinstate my benefit claims.
In the meantime I was provided with the opportunity to use the Day Centre for hot meals and hot drinks. The days I attended the day centre I made friends with people and still continuing to do so to this day. This is one positive outcome which has elevated me of some of my stress and anxiety. As I was struggling financially I was unable to buy food and was offered food parcels to support me in my time of need until I have now received appropriate benefits to support myself financially.
My current situation is really good, as I continue to live in the property Purfleet provided me which I cannot believe to this day that I was offered. Just the fact that I have some where to live is just such a relief and has given me such a boost to myself respect. My mental health concerns are still ‘trying me’, but I manage the situation by keeping myself busy and active, including my music which is one of my favourite activities and I am fortunate enough to be in a band. I have my friends and family on-hand to turn to for support and need and have of course I can turn to The Purfleet Trust.
My name is Robin, 53 years of age. When I first came into The Purfleet Trust I was facing Eviction. Knowing I was going to become homeless affected my mental health quickly and I spiralled in to depression. I was booked in for an appointment for Housing Advice which is where I met Sam. She listened, advised and explored my options with me.
I found a flat through estate agents that was affordable however I was stuck for a deposit. I booked another appointment at The Purfleet Trust they advised me that they could help with a bond. Within a couple of weeks I got the keys. The flat was mostly furnished the only thing I was missing was a sofa and a bed. I made another appointment at Purfleet, Sam applied to the Local Assistance Scheme to see if they would help me and the next day I was given the news I will be awarded a grant for me to get a sofa bed. I was really pleased.
I have had lots of help from the Purfleet Trust and all the staff including Sam who has been very helpful in every way. I have never been turned away. The Purfleet Trust is a very good organisation that is always there when you need them and I would recommend them to anyone who is going through homelessness.
I would like to take this time to thank you all at the Purfleet Trust for everything.