Suzie’s story

Suzie turned to DENS after fleeing an abusive relationship, which had caused a family breakdown. She also had issues with alcohol misuse, and despite previously managing her life and finances well, had unfortunately fallen into council tax and rent arrears.

Facing the distressing prospect of homelessness, Suzie was provided temporary accommodation at The Elms, our 44-bed hostel.

Suzie said, “The support I had from DENS was invaluable. I was at a really low point of my life. I had run out of friends and family to stay with and DENS literally prevented me from sleeping rough. They also understood my situation and stopped me from blaming myself for what I felt was a hopeless situation.”

Following her stay at The Elms, Suzie was referred to the Move On service, where she was placed into shared accommodation. Over the next 18 months, Suzie worked closely with her DENS Key Worker to address the issues in her life.

“This was such an exhilarating and relieving time. I had a key to a front door, I had space of my own and could make my own decisions for the first time in years,” added Suzie.

Our Key Worker helped Suzie work out a repayment schedule for her outstanding council tax and rent. Suzie was also offered support with alcohol detox and a referral to rehabilitation services, and she is now managing her alcohol intake successfully.

Thanks to the help of her Key Worker, Suzie reconnected with her family during the pandemic and they were able to resolve their differences. Having that family support back again has meant a great deal to her.

Following her stay in shared accommodation, Suzie was successful in securing a property of her own. When she finally walked through the front door of her new home, Suzie was overwhelmed with joy and burst into tears.

DENS will continue to offer Suzie support through our Resettlement Service. She is also keen to get back into employment and we are liaising with partners to refer her onto work-related courses.

Reflecting on her time with DENS, Suzie said “The most valuable service in Move On was the support of my Key Worker. When you have been in situations where you are always hitting dead ends, and you end up with support that you don’t even have to ask for, you can concentrate your efforts in getting your body and mind straight. I am a different person than the woman who started her DENS journey in the Crash Pad.”

Please note: Suzie’s name and image have been changed to protect her anonymity

Story published on 24th May 2021. 

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