Charlie, aged 50, is originally from Dumbarton but has been in London for the past 20 years. He faces extensive complex support needs concerning substance misuse, alcohol addiction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and liver damage..
Borderline’s first contact with Charlie back in 2015, was in fact as a colleague, rather than a client. He was working with Street Buddies, a service run by former clients working in tandem with outreach teams. The idea was that former clients can engage with some of the most vulnerable rough sleepers. Borderline’s team coordinated several outreach shifts with Street Buddies, working alongside Charlie.
A few years later one of our outreach workers, Alex, learned that he had relapsed and was back on the street rough sleeping. Charlie was embarrassed and would not engage with any services.
After speaking with Borderline, he agreed to meet with us and gradually re-engaged. We supported him into a hostel, after some time in different hostel stays, he unfortunately ended up rough sleeping again. It was clear the hostel environment was not meeting Charlie’s support needs and that he needed an alternative. After receiving notice that he would be evicted from his latest hostel stay, we worked closely with him again, alongside our partner housing agencies and support services to ensure a long-term stay indoors.
Borderline called a case conference to advocate on Charlie’s behalf and proposed Housing First as a more suitable option. Housing First is a policy that offers permanent housing as quickly as possible to homeless people, and other supportive services afterward. This was agreed, and his eviction notice was postponed whilst Charlie’s referral to Housing First was considered. He was accepted after a month.
It has been a long, difficult road for Charlie after reverting to rough sleeping.
Borderline has been there every step of the way to help him rebuild his life and we will continue to be, as he transitions into a new flat and we help him access the necessary services to address his health issues
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