From Ups and Downs to Hope and Stability

When Carl* was introduced to us, he was aged 17 and struggling with instability in his life. Homelessness was a real risk so we talked to him about our Heart and Home supported lodgings service and the possibility of bringing him some stability by finding him a host family to live with.

Despite the challenges in Carl's life, he had achieved good exam results and had recently started the final year of a course at a local college. He also wished to study English and Maths to provide him with some further academic qualifications.

We found Carl a host family to live with in Suffolk. At the beginning there were a few challenges as he had been living with instability and uncertainly for some time. We worked with him to help him settle in and adjust to his new circumstances. As a result, he built and maintained a very positive relationship with his host.

We did notice that there were times when Carl was struggling and was unable to manage his commitments. We are proud that he was able to persevere through these difficult periods and we offered him extra support at these times.

Carl set himself a goal of finding part time work to run alongside his college course and demonstrated great determination in wishing to build his skills and experience. With a passion for music, he also expressed an interest in accessing higher education to study this as it brought him much enjoyment. We were so pleased to see him begin to set himself new goals and explore different options; it showed real progress.

In addition to this, Carl started to demonstrate good understanding of his commitments, responsibilities and really developed his independent living skills. We continue to support him, usually meeting weekly and with regular emails and telephone conversations. The result is that Carl is now developing a routine and the stability he needs.

Together, we are looking to the future and we will be continuing to support Carl to achieve his A Levels, as well as additional support around life skills such as cooking and finances. We have also discussed and applied for housing. Carl has expressed an interest in finding part time employment and learning to drive; these are both great steps forward in his quest for independence and we will work with him to help him achieve his goals.

The Heart and Home supported lodgings service has also been a very positive experience for Carl's host, who says:

"My hope is that Carl has benefited from a safe, stable and genuinely supportive environment, one in which he has allowed himself to develop a degree of trust with myself. In so doing he has allowed for the possibility that not all relationships are inherently destructive, that trust can be given and that he knows I have faith in him."

Carl has expressed a wish to remain with his host while he continues with his education, and we are delighted that he has found the hope and stability that was missing from his life previously.

"Thanks for all of your support; you have probably been the best support I have ever had." He says.

*Name has been changed.


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