Oscar’s Story

Oscar was homeless for several years, living on the streets of Dacorum. An immigrant to the country, he had experienced a family breakdown, was facing social exclusion and did not have the confidence to reach out for support to improve his living conditions.

Oscar first attended the Day Centre with a friend, and soon started visiting daily for amenities like showers, laundry and lunch. He was guarded at first, but through continuous support and a positive social environment, Oscar began to build trust with staff.

His Key Worker said: “Oscar started coming in and shaking my hand, whereas before he would blank me. We would then talk about his home country and family. He opened up about things he probably had never spoken to others about.”

Oscar received support with important personal documents and registering for Universal Credit. Staff were then able to refer him to a hostel outside the borough, so he could have a fresh start away from problematic relationships.

Oscar felt apprehensive about this due to being street homeless for so long. His Key Worker set up a telephone meeting with the hostel’s staff, and helped to alleviate any concerns Oscar had.

Around this time, Oscar was also supported with registering at a GP. He found using technology a challenge, so after his Key Worker explained to the practice how this could be a barrier to him accessing care, he was allowed to book his appointments over the telephone instead of online.

After Oscar had moved into the hostel, he continued to receive support at the Day Centre for a few weeks with searching for employment.

Now, Oscar has settled in his new hometown, and has progressed from the hostel to living in supported, semi-independent accommodation. He is also in full-time employment.
While Oscar no longer needs the support of the Day Centre, he has phoned up the service several times to say thank you for the help they gave him.

Please note: Oscar’s name and image have been changed to protect his anonymity. Photo sourced from Centre for Homelessness Impact.

Story published 5th January 2024.

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