The risk of finding yourself homeless after a hospital stay: Karen’s story

The people we support are often ordinary people who have fallen into difficult circumstances, be that experiencing domestic abuse, mental health issues, family breakdowns, childhood trauma and addiction.

An image of a hospital ward with multiple hospital beds.We operate more than 40 different projects across the South West of England that support over 1,800 vulnerable individuals every year. Bay 6 is a project based in the Royal Devon and Exeter (RD&E) Hospital. Through this project we support patients who find themselves at risk of homelessness on discharge from hospital.

A photo of Karen who was at risk of homelessness when she was admitted to hospital.Patients can find themselves homeless for a variety of reasons. In addition to supporting people who have come into hospital directly off the streets, we also offer individualised, person-centred support for a wide range of patients who have never experienced homelessness and may feel very fearful.

This was the situation Karen found herself in when she was admitted to hospital.

“While I was in hospital, I got news that I was being evicted. I just couldn’t cope with that.” ~ Karen

However, Karen was able to receive support from the Bay 6 team:

“Dave and Sarah helped with my health, my flat, my confidence, getting in touch with other agencies that can help me; and pretty much put me back on my feet and helped me just carry on with a decent life really.” ~ Karen

Watch this video interview with Karen to hear more of her story:

“Dave from the Bay 6 team was just lovely. You know, within seconds I trusted him. He just had something about him that you knew he was going to get the job done.

I just had faith. I had total faith that whatever he said he was going to do, he was going to get it done. It didn’t matter how long it took him, it was going to be done. And if it couldn’t be done that way, it would be done that way. There was always an answer. There was there was never going to be a brick wall that he couldn’t climb over, really. He was so friendly.

If Dave hadn’t come in and taken that whole weight off my shoulders about the flat and if I’d been evicted, or somebody hadn’t come and cleaned it, I don’t think I’d be here today.” ~ Karen

Safe and secure accommodation on release from hospital is vital for patients to recover and avoid re-admission. This is the collective focus of the Bay 6 team who save the NHS an estimated £200k per year.

To support our work and to help more people like Karen, you can make a donation here: