Lindsay struggled mentally and emotionally with the set up of the temporary accommodation and was subsequently issued with a 28-day notice to quit.
Lindsay* was referred to Housing first from her probation worker. She was temporarily housed with a high priority for rehousing. Lindsay is very vulnerable and has high/complex needs.
Lindsay was brought up in a neglectful household where her primary caregiver, her mother was alcohol dependant. She was sexually abused by several of her mum’s partners, her uncle and grandfather. Her uncle was arrested for the abuse on herself and her siblings and although his bail conditions included no contact with Lindsay and her siblings, her mother allowed further contact resulting in the uncle raping Lindsay’s brother and sister. He later went to custody and died of aids. From the age of 11 Lindsay has been involved in domestically abusive relationships and due to her involvement with alcohol and substance misuse Lindsay’s two children were removed and subsequently adopted. Lindsay had no family contact and no current support network in place.
In 2014 Lindsay was raped by an unknown male which is currently still going through the CPS.
She reports to have had no fixed abode for 18 months and has spent the majority of that time meeting unknown males, arriving at unknown addresses (sourced through social media) where she would take cocaine, drink alcohol and would have sex with unknown men and not using contraception. She places herself in acute danger. Lindsay has spent time in and out of police custody for drunken offences and this has increased since November 2014. One arrest resulted in Lindsay attempting suicide in the back of a police van by hanging herself with her bra and was found unconscious.
Lindsay has known for two years that she has cancerous cells in her cervix and has avoided further consultation.
Lindsay has reported to have been diagnosed with depression/anxiety, borderline personality disorder, and emotionally unstable personality disorder and bipolar. She had not complied with her medication as she says it no longer has a positive effect on her. Lindsay had become more dependent on alcohol and admitted to binge drinking consuming 12 cans of dark fruits cider mixed with a litre of vodka and also taking cocaine at weekends.
She has not maintained engagement with a service and therefore support and guidance has been sporadic and inconsistent, she explains that she doesn’t trust professionals and therefore disengages quite rapidly.
Lindsay struggled mentally and emotionally with the set-up of the temporary accommodation and subsequently issued a 28-day notice to quit.
How did Threshold help?
Staff worked closely with Lindsay offering intensive support and reassurance. Staff have remained consistent and persistent in their approach to Lindsay and she is fully engaging and voluntarily contacts staff for support. She has also been accessing support groups in the community held by women’s services.
Staff managed to work with other agencies and to accommodate Lindsay in her own home. The block of flats unfortunately at the time, had other chaotic tenants and she was assaulted by someone she knows visiting one of the other flats. Subsequently, Lindsay was accommodated in another flat in a different area for her to continue working with staff and rebuilding her life.
She has been accessing medical appointments to address her gynaecological issues and attended a pre-op appointment.
We are in the process of accessing Mental Health Pathways with Lindsay’s permission to builds more specialised supportive support network.
Liaison with women’s centre and seeking other resources to build a holistic package of support
We are currently supporting Lindsay through maternity services and antenatal appointments, as she is pregnant. We are a multi-agency working with Children’s services, during completion of a pre-birth assessment.
We have also supported Lindsay to rebuild her personal relationships with her mother and sister.
What is the outcome?
Lindsay is slowly building her emotional resilience and this is improving her mental health and well-being. She can, on occasion, present as angry and frustrated, which has been a major barrier for her in the past with acquiring consistent support from agencies.
Lindsay has worked on her coping strategies and engaged in difficult discussions regarding her presentation to professionals even when feeling frustrated. She is currently 23 weeks pregnant. Due to her previous chaotic lifestyle and the adoption of her two young children, Children’s Services are currently involved in completing a Pre-Birth Assessment.
This assessment includes, discussing Lindsay’s choices, lifestyle and the decisions she has made previously and will also involve very difficult discussions. She is currently working with an allocated Social Worker and has been very open and honest. At present the reports are that when the baby is born there is possibly going to be an option for baby to remain in her care on a high child protection plan, rather than having the baby removed at birth. Lindsay struggled with this news. However, contained herself very well and was not aiming frustration at the social worker. She has been praised by Children’s Services for her interaction with them.
Lindsay has a lot of support from her sister and her mother and as a family they have supported her in preparing for the birth of her child. She is attending medical appointments and is being closely monitored by medical services due to historical implications during pregnancy. This includes daily injections into her abdomen and Lindsay is compliant with this medical regime.
Lindsay understands the decisions and is continuing to work closely with children’s services and Housing First. We are currently awaiting a two-bedroom property be allocated to her (from New Charter), and hopefully this will be in close proximity to her mother and sister, as they are her personal support network.
What do they want to do in the future?
Lindsay plans to settle into a two-bedroom accommodation within close proximity to her family. She is willing to engage with the Mental Health services, especially following the birth of her child, as she is worried about the feelings she may experience regarding her two children not being in her care.
She would like to continue accessing support services and talks fondly of becoming a volunteer within support services.
Staff will remain working with Lindsay and supporting her to build her emotional resilience and be able to live a settled lifestyle.
A support plan is in place for Lindsay to address her previous arrears, looking at budgeting and money management and in the long-term to seek training to equip her with the relevant interpersonal skills required to achieve her ambition of working in a supportive role to others.
*To protect identity, the name of the client in this story has been changed.