Fairer Scotland

Housing First – Adam’s story

July 17, 2019 by No Comments | Category Homelessness, Housing

Adam is a bright, articulate and funny 37 year old man who has been homeless on and off for the past seven years. He is great company and has a warm and caring personality. He has, however, been through a very traumatic time that he still finds difficult to talk about.

When asked about his background Adam explained that when he was 13 years old he was involved in a road traffic accident, resulting in an inverse fracture to the skull. He nearly died and for a long while he was in a wheelchair. When going through occupational therapy, it was discovered that he had probably been suffering from Dyspraxia his whole life but had never been diagnosed.

Despite this difficult start, Adam graduated university and was employed by Police Scotland.  However he was medically retired due to poor mental health. Adam has struggled to get an accurate mental health diagnosis over the years, but in the past 18 months he has been diagnosed with an Organic Personality Disorder.

Adam explains that despite the huge progress that he has made, he still suffers quite badly with mental health problems. He sometimes feels quite paranoid. He has previously self-harmed by stubbing cigarettes out on himself and sometimes still feels the need to hurt himself. He has tried to manage his mental health by self-medicating with substances for a number of years.

Housing First support

Until recently Adam hasn’t managed his own tenancy before. However with a lot of commitment from himself and support from the Housing First Team, he is living successfully in his own property and seems to have escaped from the cycle of homelessness that he was in before.

Initially he was working intensively with the Housing First Team for about 14 hours each week this has now reduced to 10 hours a week.  He still likes some emotional and practical support with his household management and settling into his new community. Adam feels that the support has been really helpful to allow him to adjust with day to day living, taking responsibility for himself and learning to trust and engage with people again.

Rebuilding a life

He says that having his own tenancy has added structure to his life and has enabled him to achieve a sense of stability that he has not had previously. This stability has helped him to rebuild relationships with his family and re-engage with his own interests.  Last Christmas he travelled to Cardiff to spend a week with them. His real forte is Performing Arts – he wrote an excellent piece of poetry for St Andrews Night in the community and has also undertaken a 12 week short course at Glasgow University.

Adam says that he is looking forward to the future with a new sense of optimism and plans to visit Berlin this year independently and to Centre Parks with his family later in the year. He also hopes to complete a Master’s degree in Creative Writing one day.

Thanks to Salvation Army Scotland for sharing this story


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