Client Stories


Marcus Jun 16

Marcus wanted to share his view of London Housing Trust. So with the help of Aisha they made a quick video.  Marcus tells us about how life was for him before he came to us.

He tells us about the 24hr supported accommodation has worked for him and now how he is ready for a more independent move on. How we have assisted him and how the peer support has worked for him.

He tells us how we can improve our communication and could expand what we are doing to extend the peer support that works so well in this project. His future is good now he has a good key worker and is looking for happiness!


Sylvester’s Story Jun 16

Sylvester is a current client of London Housing Trust since Dec15 and sits on the Client Involvement Committee.

You may have seen in around London as he is quite famous for his busking activities.

He keeps telling us that he will bring in his guitar soon so we can put a singalong on the site.

Sylvester wanted to come in an give his opinion of the services at London Housing Trust.

These are some of his comments.

“In my many years of being homeless, I haven’t found a better housing organisation.’

 The house that I’m in is the best house in the street.  

‘I’m sure there are better organisations around , but i haven’t found one yet’

‘Yes there always gas and electric bills that come up but the client committee have agreed to install pre-paid meetings which is great.’

‘What goes right should always be pointed out,  after a long time on the street I am now in a position where i am quite happy’


Lucy’s Story Sep 15

Aisha with Lucy on her move on day

Aisha with Lucy on her move on day

I came to London Housing Trust 29th September 2014 after being homeless for sometime.  I was referred by No Second Night Out (NSNO) so I was living on the street at the time.   As a former Former Asylum seeker – Refugee I was used to hardship but I was so grateful to have a bed and a room of my own as I was previously staying in a hall with all men at NSNO.

I was offered a room in a small house in Crystal Palace, so when I found out I would have my own bedroom I was ecstatic. My first worker was male and though he did help me find training in First aid and food hygiene with Crisis, I much more preferred when I got my female worker Aisha as women can understand each other more.

Aisha has always been very understanding and very helpful to all the girls in the project.

I am now leaving LHT a better person in employment and with a positive mind, Thank you to all the team.

Lucy Wangari

September 2015 Update – Lucy tells us her flat is great and she is looking forward to starting university soon


Marley’s Story Aug 15

marley-8by10

I have been housed by London Housing Trust’s supported accommodation since January 2014. We applied in November 2014 to Bromley Council for housing.  Alex helped me to fill in the council form and I was put in the highest band A because of my medical issues.  I obtained a bidding number and Alex helped me to bid.  After one year of bidding I was successful in obtaining a self contained accommodation in Bromley and am moving out today.  I have been presently surprised by the level of support received by my support worker.

During the year with LHT Alex helped me with moving in, claiming Housing Benefit, and of course assisting with the move on process. Alex also helped me to obtain all the white goods, cooker, fridge, freezer, bed from the Bromley council welfare fund so I had everything I needed to start my new tenancy.I would recommend LHT support service to any one in need of support. Thank you so much for the support towards homeless people in need of housing.

Best wishes

Marley


Laura’s Feb 15

I grew up in a tough environment feeling unloved and unwanted, I came to NSNO (No second night out) as my situation had taken a turn for the worst due to decision I had made previously living independently. NSNO took care of me helping me to take the right steps in order to get my life back on track. They put me in touch with London Housing Trust and i was offered an assessment with them, Which was very friendly and detailed. Here we discussed my life style and support needed and required.

I initially wanted to go back to my old borough where I felt safe and comfortable due to the surroundings being so familiar to me, However after seeing the house and its surroundings plus with the support I received from London Housing Trust from Aisha my support worker and also Steve, Reggie and Alex at the time i decided to stay and work with them, and eventually get into my own permanent accommodation.

Since being at London Housing Trust for the past 4 months, I have found the service to be very useful, Supportive and friendly in every area of needs including help with the Job Center, Social activities, getting into training and employment, and also helping them move on from London Housing Trust with a bright and prosperous future. Without London Housing Trust I would not be the better wiser and more confident women that i am today.

From the office staff to the support workers to the house house reps to the chef that cooks the banging curry goat with rice and peas at they client committee meetings, The maintenance team to Fare share for the emergency food supplies, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for giving me a bright start in this new chapter in my life.

I am now a House rep and Vice chair of the client committee, giving the best of me to the rest of the clients that are in my situation by helping them with daily tasks or advising them on things they may be unclear of. I feel happy and useful being able to advise and help other clients with my life skills and knowledge which makes me feel valued as a person in this harsh way of society.

Change, Understanding and process is the key!

August 2015 Update – Laura reconnected with her family and now lives with relatives.  Laura plans to continue her education

 


Mirella Jan15

Hi, my name is Mirella, I live in a hostel for homeless transsexual and gender non-conforming people run by London Housing Trust. I started my transition from male to female in my home town, Manchester. I had difficulties in dealing with the reaction of the general pubic to my androgynous appearance, especially at work, where I was bullied, isolated and threatened. I had made friends with queer people in London through social media and I often visited at weekends. I decided to move here and find work.
Unfortunately my new work colleagues were no different to those in Manchester. The bullying affected my mental health and I had a breakdown, I contemplated suicide regularly. I quit work and spent my savings on rent and food until I was broke and homeless. Luckily i had an amazing friend who let me stay on her settee bed for four months, and another lovely friend told me about the trans hostel where I currently live.
Thanks to LHT I am not homeless and as such I feel safe, and secure. It’s great sharing a house with other trans people as I have made new friends, and we share our experiences of transition and help each other, all of which is invaluable. I can now transition in peace, until such time as I feel comfortable with my new appearance, improve my life skills and receive work-related training, with the help of our LHT house rep, Aisha.
As a trans person I face prejudice in work, in housing and in public spaces, so this trans hostel really is a life saver, and a place I can grow as a woman, and at some point reintegrate in to society, a stronger person able to deal with the challenges trans people face.
Thanks
Mirella xx

 

Paris Taylor Dec14

Paris-8x10

I came to this country from New Zealand aged 5 years old in the heatwave of summer 1976. I came with my dad and my brother my mum left us to be raised by my dad at this early age, growing up I found I didn’t think I missed mum as the memories of her faded and I didn’t think this early abandonment affected my thinking and behaviours in anyway.

Later in life I was wrong, uprooting from my home and being left by my mum I now understand must have been devastating to a 5 year old little boy, my father tried to give me a loving but strict upbringing and he bonded very close to my younger brother.

Even though our family unit consisted of only three to me it was just a normal family.  My upbringing was on reflection far from normal.  My dad had been the first gay man in new Zealand to win a custodial battle in the new Zealand courts and get custody of two boys.  I’m proud of my dad and how he held himself he was very eccentric and didn’t care what people thought, but this caused a big trouble with bullying from a young age, primary school right through to secondary and my behavior was off key for early on.

We were poor growing up as single parents and I learnt to steal and fight for an early age. In my teens I left home at 14 and did an armed robbery at 15 with older men, I was being used while adults got prison I got me a ward of court and was put into care so i couldn’t go home if i wanted to. I was in and out of prison taking every drug that I could I’m not going to give a drug blog but i did it all I know now that I have the disease of addiction and need constant help and support with this.

I lost my dad and brother 7 years ago to this disease my dad was an alcoholic and brother an addict and they both died within 3 months of each other I believe my brother’s death broke my dad this was devastating to me and I had a few near misses myself. A few years before my dad and brother died I got convicted of supplying class A and was sentenced to 5 years in prison, I refused to help the police with their inquiries or grass. I was homeless at the time and was not the main dealer I was a runner and had no money only enough for my personal habit. At 2 and a half years i got paroled into a hostel in Canada walk in Catford, Lewisham. I found out there were child molesters also living there and refused to spend another night there so recalled and ended up doing the whole 5 years in jail.

Thank god that not long after my release I found out about London Housing Trust. LHT have a no drugs policy so I needed to be in a program with the GP.  I used to have the mindset that drugs will get you through times of my money better than money will get you through times of no drugs which was true for a short term solution but a short term solution that have long term consequences. LHT gave me the support I needed and they listened, with their help and their support for the first time in my life I am able to start living life.  On life terms I am so grateful through them my life is now changing for the better.  After 2 years of being clean from drugs I feel I’m ready to move on.

September 2015 Update – Paris moved on to independent accommodation and continues to be drug free.


 

Aidarus Ahmed Dec14

10x8-2 Aidarus Ahmed

After seeking Asylum in the UK Aidrius now has a job and his own flat.

My name is Aidarus Ahmed, I came to LHT 3 years ago through a hostel in East London after seeking asylum in the UK.

It was closing down to be redeveloped into flats and I was worried about being homeless again.

The 2 Step project referred me to LHT with 4 other people from the Brockley project so it was nice to be together.

LHT gave me freedom to live in the house, freedom to cook my own food and use the facilities they offered me, they helped me when I was homeless.

They referred me to Crisis to get job opportunities and training.

I go every week to meet different company employers.  Got a key worker that see me every week once if I need any help.

Thank you LHT

June 2015 Update – Aidarus obtained  full time employment and moved on into independent accommodation.

 


SK’s Dec 14

Before I started the project with LHT over 2 years ago I was attending SHP, sofa surfing and sleeping rough.  Within a week of my referral my case worker received a response. Later that year I was housed in Brixton for a short period of time, I was then moved to the Bellingham area which I did like.  After becoming settled in that old house I received many maintenance problems and was suddenly then told we are moving out just before Christmas to an area I was not used to in Bromley.  In that time I felt alone and isolated.  My mum came down with a serious illness in which I requested a different to more closer to her.  I came to believe I was forgotten about until I was told of a room vacancy in Brockley.  My move was so rushed I lost many of my belongings because of this.  As quickly as I moved  into my current house, again problems started.   In this house I have a lack of budget control, there have been continuous maintenance problems, the lack of personal hygiene has also been an ongoing issue here.  However since we got a new support worker the problems in the property has improved and is  picking up speed and I am currently training towards getting my SIA badge, I hope to continue training and find a job.


Billie Bicklie Jun12

Billie Bicklie, joins our Safe Place project.  Billie is an ambassador for the The Big Issue and comes to stay with her dog


This is Billies Story…

I had 96 criminal convictions – I was nicked almost every other month for 17 years until a Big Issue Foundation (BIF) outreach worker told me about The Big Issue. I started selling The Big Issue in 1999. I’ve not been in trouble with the police now for 10 years. I remember the last sentence I got, the judge said to me, “Billie, if I see you back here, you’re going to go away for a long time.” So the Big Issue saved my life, pretty much.

I was brought up in Coventry. My mum kicked me out when I was 14, so I caught a train and ended up in Euston. I was hooked on crack and heroin for the next 17 years. I slept in this old red bus shelter out the front of King’s Cross station for eight years, until they took it down. I’m writing my life story at the minute, and my ghost writer, he says, “Billie, you lived in a little square for eight years!” It wasn’t until then that I realised, ‘S**t! That’s where I lived, where I scored my drugs, made my money, for eight whole years!’ I was hooked on Kings Cross, hooked on drugs, hooked on the street. I used to beg, I used to do terrible things, shoplift, clip punters –whatever I could to make money. When I first got badged-up as a Big Issue vendor, it was just a way to make money without getting arrested for it.

The BIF finally persuaded me to move into a hostel and with the help of the outreach team I’d managed to get clean. I was living in a hostel full of addicts and dealers and doing everything within me to stay clean. I’d been with my partner for four months when she said, ‘Billie you can’t live like this, come and lodge with me.’

I’ve been there ever since. I signed off the dole, and I support my girlfriend and her two beautiful kids by selling the magazine. It’s nice to know that the Big Issue is still there to support me, even though I’ve got myself sorted out.

I’ve not been in trouble now for over 10 years which means all of my convictions have been quashed. Now I’ve got the chance to move on again with my life. I’m going to stop selling The Big Issue and look to get a job, something I couldn’t do with my convictions. I want the chance to work with kids who were in the same situation I was, and help them to make the right decisions and not the wrong ones I took.
It’s going  to be hard, I’ve been my own boss for a long time now but I’m hoping to do some voluntary work first to get used to being told what to do and then move on to a paid job. It’s going to be hard but I’m up for it.

My customers sponsored me £2000 for last years walk and I was one of the top fundraisers. One of them said, ‘Billie, it’s because you’re always cheery in the morning and you’re always willing to stop and chat.’ I love doing it – I’ve always loved it.

After being referred to London Housing Trust (LHT) by the Big Issue I have been drug free and an now looking for work.

August 2013 Update – Billy moved into her own independent accommodation and volunteers with LHT on occasion as a mentor