Homelessness – Sean's story

Sean was referred to our Pathways service from an Approved Premises, where he resided for three months. Prior to this, he served a two-and-a-half-year prison term. Sean has a history of arson offences and a history of mental health and alcohol abuse.

Pathways undertook an extensive process to assess and manage the risk around arson, in particular. This included putting in extra support at the beginning of Sean’s stay and having a bespoke code of conduct drawn up, which he agreed to sign. This allowed us to offer Sean accommodation when most Supported Accommodation services would not. We were his only offer of accommodation due to the nature of his offending.

Sean experienced ‘rock bottom’ periods resulting in neglect, a breakdown in mental health, and a relapse into alcohol misuse. He has received two in-patient detoxes. His risk of offending is linked to alcohol use. He continues to suffer from low moods but has managed through support and encouragement and wider community support, to engage in several activities that have helped him to achieve sobriety.

He has learnt that the key to his continued success is to keep busy. Sean has two volunteer placements. One with a Property Service and the other with a charity supporting homeless and vulnerably housed people in Medway and Huddersfield. He enjoys and carries out both with pride.

Sean has said that without Pathways’ provision of accommodation and the help he received, he would not have believed there was a future for him. He has affirmed that Pathways staff have provided patience, encouragement, and belief in him. The accommodation delivers consistency and security, and he is also appreciative of his fellow residents. Staff provide consistent support, and they are always there to pick him up when he fails or falls down.

Sean is managed by the Probation Service, and he regularly attends the alcohol recovery service Open Road. He still has a long way to go, but the progression he has made so far is outstanding. He is an example to others that anything is possible.

*Sean’s name has been changed to protect his identity.