CASS is a small voluntary organisation - we work with homeless people
My name is Jimmy, this is my story.
I grew up in care – by the time I left I already had some criminal convictions and then spent time in very poor housing or sleeping rough. By the time I was 23 I had over 15 previous addresses which never lasted more than a few months at a time. I’ve been mugged and slept in a railway station, I’ve lost my home because it was in such a poor state that Housing Benefit wouldn’t pay my landlord any rent.
Eventually I got a place in a hostel and from there moved to a small CASS house - but this first time it didn't work for me. I began drinking and using drugs with the two people I shared with - things came to a head when I was in a fight at the house and got sent to prison for 3 yrs.
In prison I got diagnosed with multiple mental health disorders which they said I’d probably had since childhood. I was released to a Probation hostel and CASS offered me accommodation again – this time my own flat in another area.
I met with my CASS worker as often as I needed and for as long as I needed. Someone from CASS was always available to talk if I was feeling low.
When I first moved in I wasn’t sure that I could manage and on some days I couldn’t leave the house as I felt so paranoid and anxious. Slowly I became more independent and my confidence improved. I completed some work placements and training courses and started voluntary work
After around 18 months I got a 2-bedroom flat with a housing association. I got help from CASS with the move and for a short time after I had moved in.
In the time that I received support I went from being in prison to having my own flat. I have not re-offended, rarely drink and haven’t used any drugs. Through CASS I’ve made contact with other agencies and people that have given me more support, I now have an active social life and don’t think about going back to my old life, and best of all I've just celebrated my first wedding anniversary!
THIS IS WHAT CASS DOES
THIS IS HOW OUR SUPPORT CAN HELP PEOPLE CHANGE THEIR LIVES
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