Case Study: Diane

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Diane, and her dog, Mr B, are looking forward to a more settled future, thanks to support from Horton’s homeless support services.

Diane’s route to homelessness was unexpected after a career in caring. She had worked as a senior carer in a care home, but started to suffer from back problems. This led to her needing to take time off and having surgery to fix the problem. But when she returned to work, her back gave out again, so she had to reluctantly leave her job.

Diane tried to claim benefits for her health problems, which also included epilepsy; she started to suffer seizures a few years ago. She received payments for a while, then they were suspended, as she was told that her health issues no longer qualified.

Diane’s four-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Mr B is big part of her life and the pair are inseparable, particularly because Mr B comes to her aid when she suffers an epileptic seizure.

“When it happens,” she said, “He just knows and nudges me and licks my face.”

When she could not stay in her own home, she went to stay with her son, but it did not work out because Mr B was unable to get used to the new living arrangements.

Desperate at this point, Diane sought help from Bradford Council and was referred to Horton Housing and Jermyn Court.

*Diane said: “Horton gave me all the help I needed. Jermyn Court was the only place that would take the dog and we’ve never been apart.

“They helped build my confidence back up and I got peace and quiet when my head was going overtime. I also felt safe there.”

After spending two and a half months at Jermyn Court, Diane was referred to the Council’s Housing Options list from which she was found a flat in Allerton. She is now setting to work making it a home and looking forward to walks with Mr B and spending more time with her six grandchildren.

“It should be easier from now on,” she said. “If you get knocked off that ladder you have to get back up again and Horton has helped me do that.”

*While Mr B was welcome at Jermyn Court, Horton is only able to take dogs if suitable accommodation is available.