Case study: Rose and James

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Rose and James* were referred to our STAY at Home service in October 2019.

Before they came to Horton Housing, the couple were in the process of having their private rented home repossessed, due to their landlord not paying the mortgage. The property had no functional heating and their furniture was ruined by living in damp conditions.

The property also had no cooking facilities, which meant that Rose and James had to visit their local community centre on a daily basis to eat meals, where they were also provided with sandwiches to take home for their evening meals.

Rose and James also experienced financial abuse from their landlord. They turned to a local moneylender for financial support and were charged 100% interest on the money they borrowed. This resulted in a cycle of borrowing money and being left short every month.

Their support worker at STAY at Home reported his concerns about the vulnerability of the couple to the adult social care and safeguarding team. As a result, the loaning of money was stopped and the referral enabled the support worker to get a social worker for the couple.

Rose and James are in their late fifties and both are unable to read and write due to having learning disabilities. They had never been formally diagnosed, thus not receiving adequate support, which resulted in hardship and financial abuse over a number of years.

Their support worker referred Rose and James to Waddiloves Health Centre who were able to formally diagnose their learning disabilities, and put a care package in place to help improve their independent living skills.

Having received their diagnoses, the Jobcentre moved the couple from their existing Jobseeker’s Allowance claim and provided them with support from the learning disabilities team. This has also enabled Rose and James to successfully claim PIP (Personal Independence Payment), which they had never qualified for before.

Rose and James have been attending basic English and Maths lessons at the local community centre and can now read and write.

James, who is partially deaf, is awaiting two hearing aids and is looking forward to a new experience of not having to struggle to hear and no longer pretend that he understands what people are saying.

Their support worker contacted various housing providers to help Rose and James find a new home. Accent Housing invited them to view a property, which was previously a show home, so was fully furnished and decorated.

Accent kindly offered the property to Rose and James with the furniture and decorations included, to help them start a new life.

Through their time at STAY at Home, Rose and James have grown and thrived as individuals, increasing in confidence and a feeling of self-worth. They now have a great support network; they are financially stable and are free from abuse.

Rose and James now have bank accounts and they are able to budget. They have managed to save money and they are planning their first ever holiday together to the seaside – something that they have never been able to do before.

*not their real names