“I am now able to say that I have my own space”
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 decision 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.