Hugh, 49 years old, originally from Dundee, has been supported by Borderline since 2017. He suffers from severe anxiety and depression and has been diagnosed with PTSD triggered from abuse he suffered as a child in care in Scotland. He also battles addiction with amphetamines.

Originally, we helped Hugh to access a private let and support him maintain this tenancy, where he remained for a couple of years. After a substantial period of no contact, our outreach team began to re-build a relationship with Hugh and develop trust. He gradually began re-engaging with us, although he was aggressive in his manner and had severe anger issues. 

He revealed that he feared for his life after being threatened by neighbours but refused our help to advocate on his behalf with the landlord and police. In January 2020, Hugh left his flat, and ended up sleeping in a tent in his friend’s garden. Throughout lockdown measures, we maintained regular contact. Hugh was adamant he would not return to his flat where he felt threatened. In June 2020, Borderline liaised with the relevant agency and closed the tenancy properly on his behalf so as not to jeopardise any future housing. He remained sleeping in a tent until October.

In October, we referred Hugh to temporary housing so that he could be indoors, which he agreed to. We called a cross-agency case conference, which Hugh attended, to discuss his support needs and manage expectations. He agreed that he will meaningfully engage with services again. 

During this period, Hugh’s behaviour dramatically improved and we helped him to access regular professional counselling to address his history of abuse in a safe space. He has previously never been in the right frame of mind to see this through. Hugh said, “I believe this is really helping me and I feel like I am gradually making good progress”.

In February this year, Hugh was evicted from his temporary housing due to anti-social behaviour towards staff. To ensure that he did not return to rough sleeping on the streets, especially with dropping temperatures over the winter months, we referred Hugh to SWEP (Severe Weather Emergency Protocol) accommodation. He remains indoors whilst more permanent housing is sought.

We are working hard so that Hugh can access a suitable private let to meet his support needs. Liaising with our partners, we have now successfully referred Hugh to a new housing project run by Westminster City Council. In the meantime, our adovcates are helping Hugh to organize his benefit payments and help him to make a Universal Credit claim. He needs this to access Housing Benefit in order to move into one of their private let properties.

Whilst Hugh waits to move into suitable private-let housing, we have organized for Hugh to continue receiving further counselling sessions and have facilitated a Covid-secure space for these sessions to take place face-to-face. We will continue to be there every step of the way to help give Hugh a chance to rebuild his life for the better.