The Supported Housing team at Julian House is the source of a constant stream of inspiring outcomes for service users. Recently, after two years of committed work supporting one female service user, they have achieved yet another moving result.
Fiona was referred to Julian House through the criminal justice system. Having served a seven-year sentence and lost connection with her family, she was thought to be at risk of homelessness and in urgent need of ongoing support to prevent a relapse into offending behavior.
The Supported Housing team was able to help Fiona with accommodation, so that she had the immediate security of a roof to sleep under. From there, Fiona was encouraged to take part in the wide range of supported activities that Julian House offers to help it’s service users establish a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Along with other female service users who were in similar difficult situations, she took part in discussion groups to build her confidence and in cookery classes, learning to make regular healthy meals and cakes to bake as a treat. For the first time, she also learned to confidently read and write.
For a long time, Fiona had been suffering from ill health and had been unable to access treatment. Understanding that this lack of medical intervention was slowing her recovery, the Supported Housing team worked with Fiona, primary care providers and the NHS to understand the nature of her illness. Fiona has now been diagnosed with a chronic condition and is receiving the appropriate treatment, meaning that her symptoms and her discomfort are both reduced.
After two years of support, Fiona has completed her license conditions, meaning that she has not re-offended for two years and is now free from the watch of probation services. She has been awarded Personal Independence Payments, meaning that she can move into independent housing and regain increasing control over life. Perhaps most importantly, she has reconnected with her children and begun rebuilding the family connections that she had lost.
This achievement would not have been possible without close cooperation between Julian House and it’s partners: probation services, benefits agencies, primary carers and the NHS. Thanks go out to all the people who have contributed to this story and best of luck goes to Fiona as she takes her next steps forwards.
(To protect her identity, the name of this service user has been changed)