I’ve not had the easiest of times in my life and in the past I had addictions with gambling. Because of this I became homeless, no one’s fault but my own. I sofa surfed for a while staying in different people’s houses when I could and it was really stressful. I then was lucky enough to get into a local supported accommodation. This was great and I had lots of company and support from the staff while I was living there. I got involved with gamblers anonymous and really started to get things sorted out for myself.
When I heard the housing executive had offered me my first home I was really happy and was looking forward to the next phase of my life. I moved in not long before Christmas. The house is a one bedroom bungalow in a really nice area. Those first few months were really hard. My pipes froze and then burst, ruining the carpet which had been in the house when I moved in, and started to smell so I had to take it out. The wall paper was peeling off the walls and falling down and everything was in a bit of a state. I had big plans to decorate but I don’t have the money or the know-how.
I started to feel really down. I was stuck in the house every day and missed my friends from the hostel. I was on my own constantly and couldn’t see how I was ever going to make things better. Things just started to get too much for me and I couldn’t cope and could only see one way out. I was admitted to hospital following a serious suicide attempt.
I now have the support of BCM housing support and I am the chair of their service user forum. My house is still in poor condition but BCM have helped me to get some new furniture donated from local charities and we are trying to make it more homely. I have been talking to the staff at BCM about how I think this project would really help others and hopefully no one else will get into the state that I was in when you can’t see past the dimness that’s in front of you.