It is those of us who have been broken that become experts at mending.
For over two years now I have been running a weekly "pop in" group for people suffering with and recovering from various mental health conditions. It's time to do more!!!
Self-esteem is as important to our well-being as legs are to a table. It is essential for physical and mental health and for happiness.
Many people (including at least three who attend our weekly pop in group) need somewhere they can call home. I would like to set up a small local charity to continue my voluntary work in this sector.
That charity would not only offer groups for people to attend. I want to purchase a property with maybe three or four double bedrooms that can be rented on a shared house basis to people that desperately need long-term accommodation they can call home.
Lots of people with mental health conditions are exploited and discriminated against and there are so few private rental properties out there that will accept housing benefit applicants. Those that do make it extremely difficult by imposing conditions that few people in that situation can meet (eg high deposits/bonds required, references and guarantors). For some, these demands are impossible.
I've been there myself! From the age of 19 I'd always owned my own property and until five years ago, had never been unemployed in my life! Things changed. I've had severe mental health conditions! I've been abused and exploited! I've been homeless! I've been at rock bottom and lost everything!
***People with mental health conditions can and do recover!!! I'm not talking rubbish, I'm talking from experience!!!***
On my own personal journey to recovery I've met so many wonderful people in very difficult situations. I need to help them!
Yes, there are lots of agencies out there that offer various kinds of support. I want to offer something different! Something life-changing!
Affordable and safe accommodation brings stability and security; provides a gateway to access health services like GPs; enhances social and community inclusion; and provides the basis for the right to private and family life. Put simply, a home is vital for good mental and physical health, allowing people to live in safety, security, peace and dignity.
Having a mental health difficulty can create the circumstances which can cause a person to have poor living conditions in the first place. Yet poor housing can also increase the chances of developing a mental health problem, or exacerbate an existing condition. In turn, this can make it even harder for that person to recover - to develop good mental health, to secure stable housing, to find and maintain a job, to stay physically healthy and to maintain relationships.
Helping people find suitable living accommodation through regular channels is proving much too difficult! We need our own house, initially to provide long-term homes for 3-4 single people. Sharing a house with people that understand and can relate to your own circumstances is the best kind of accommodation we could offer. Peer support is the most important factor! It will change their lives!!
This will not be to make any sort of profit or exploit people who are vulnerable. It will offer hope and a safe and secure environment for some very special people in difficult circumstances who desperately need it.
It would eventually be run as a charity!
Any help and support for this project would be massively appreciated!
Please help me change some lives for the better!