Jim's story

Jim's story

“I suppose it wasn’t an ideal situation, in hindsight!”

It is with typical understatement that 78-year-old Jim describes his living conditions over the last eight years. Until recently he was living in a lock up with no hot water and sleeping in an old armchair every night. His only heating was from a small electric heater. It was something Jim says he “Just got used to.”

It was thanks to an old friend of Jim, Mark, who works opposite the lock up and had been keeping an eye on Jim that meant he was able to get the right help to move into a proper home again.

Mark explains: “Jim was at the lock up a lot and I suspected he was sometimes staying overnight. We had some snow one morning and I was the first to arrive at the site. I knew that was the case as there were no other tyre marks in the fresh snow. As I pulled up to my office I noticed Jim was in his lock up. I went over and started the usual ‘isn’t it cold!’ conversation and Jim started telling me what a hassle it was driving in that morning through the snow. I knew then that he was living there.”

Mark contacted the local Citizens Advice who suggested he get in touch with DHI’s Reach housing advice service. He spoke to DHI Floating Support Worker, Jeremy, that same day.

Jeremy said: “We knew Jim wouldn’t do well in temporary accommodation so we made sure he was safe in the short term and worked really hard to get him onto band A priority on the housing register. I was bidding on his behalf, as he wasn’t used to using a smart phone or websites. The landlord of the lock up was brilliant. He was on our side. Working with the different agencies involved to get Jim into his own place again was the priority. He had basically dropped off the radar and so there was a lot of work involved to get him registered in the right places. It wasn’t long before we were able to secure a permanent tenancy for Jim, somewhere he could call home again.”

Jim concludes: “Jeremy and Mark have been so helpful. I couldn’t be happier with my flat and I was pleased as punch to get it!”

Jeremy, Jim and Mark

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