After being convicted of a serious offence in 2007, Steve was released into an Approved Premises. Once his time in the approved premises had come to an end, Steve moved into a UTA property and began engaging with Justlife via our Targeted Referrals Project. Somewhat institutionalised, Steve initially struggled to cope with life outside of prison and often expressed to the Targeted Referrals Worker that he felt scared and vulnerable out amongst the public and without the routine he had become accustomed to whilst inside. However, despite this anxiety, it was clear that Steve was eager to rebuild his life, reconnect with family and avoid the mistakes of the past – particularly regarding his previously problematic relationship with alcohol.
With help from his Justlife Worker, Steve registered for social housing and applied to supported accommodation schemes. Justlife also supported Steve in setting up his benefits and regaining confidence with basic skills, such as handling post and phone calls, which he found difficult and nerve-wracking after many years inside. Soon, Steve also began volunteering with another homelessness charity in the city and even began playing football locally – quickly becoming an indispensable player for his team.
Unfortunately, after settling in well in UTA, Steve was forced to leave after a few months because he was threatened by another resident who had been drinking heavily and looked him up online (finding out his offending history). Thankfully, Steve was able to move back into Approved Premises for a short time, during which Justlife and the Probation Service worked quickly to secure him a 1-bed private rented flat in North Manchester.
Despite this set back, Steve continued with his volunteering and football and remained sober throughout – which was no easy achievement. Steve has now been in his current property for just under 9 months and is continuing to make progress in all areas. He is currently undertaking a HGV driver’s license course and is still volunteering and playing football regularly. His landlord considers him to be an excellent tenant who keeps the property tidy and stays up to date with his rent. Although Steve still struggles with anxiety, he is coping much better and knows where to turn if he is worried or in need of advice. In the future, Steve hopes to get full time work as an HGV driver, save up some money, and move to a new flat nearer his family in South Manchester.