Sarah and I first met when she was having to move from her family home into emergency accommodation. There had been lots of risks in the property, and Sarah needed moving for her own safety and because of an eviction order. Sarah was quite stuck and felt unable to leave a home she had been in and out of for a long time. At this time, Sarah was using crack and heroin regularly, on top of her Methadone prescription, and was in very poor health.
Moving into emergency and temporary accommodation
Sarah was referred to Justlife by her drug worker, Maddie, as it was clear she was going to struggle in emergency accommodation. Sarah and I met in a coffee shop, and realised that as two Brightonians called Sarah, we had a lot in common and got on well! Between Justlife, Equinox and Sarah herself, we were able to move her to emergency accommodation.
Sarah and I started meeting in her emergency accommodation regularly to sit, drink coffee and have a chat. We worked on things such as benefits, a housing plan and managing her drug use. Sarah has had a very difficult and chaotic life with long-term drug use, but felt for the first time in a long time that she was willing, and able to fully accept the help available.
After showing that she could maintain her emergency accommodation room to a high standard, Sarah was moved into temporary accommodation. Temporary accommodation is much more independent, and people need to manage their own money and pay their bills themselves. It also meant that Sarah was able to move away from such a chaotic environment. Sarah was doing well, but still using drugs and struggling with her finances. She was also struggling to adjust to having so much of her own space. Then lockdown hit.