Amanda, 40, was in crisis when she lost her home, her relationship, and nearly her life. She was helped to transform her future with a highly personalised package of support.
“I became homeless after the breakup of my marriage, when I became alcohol dependent and lost my job. I had no income and mounting debts. I became increasingly depressed and anxious and didn’t see how my life was going to change.
"I was staying the odd night here and there but I didn’t really have anywhere permanent to go. I was suicidal. I just felt worthless and I didn’t think there was any point in me being here anymore. I thought nobody would miss me if I was gone. But then I came to Framework through my GP.
"They started to work on my underlying problems – the drink and the debts – and then managed to get me into Elizabeth House, which is an emergency accommodation centre now threatened with closure. It was very intense there but it wasn’t at all like I thought it would be. There are people there to help you all the time; to speak to if you are worried about something and to advise you about what you need to do.
"My support worker was brilliant because she focussed on me as an individual. She focussed on what problems I had and how best to sort them out. The biggest problem I had was that I had no money – partly because I didn’t know I was entitled to any benefits. She helped me fill in all the forms and identify what I could claim.
"She also helped me with my debts by putting me in touch with a specialist charity. They advised me to get a debt relief order to sort out the problems. That was a huge weight of my mind because the debt was causing me so much anxiety it was stopping me from moving on with my life. There were people coming after me for money I just didn’t have.
“Whilst I was at Elizabeth House they also helped me to manage my money better, and also helped me to attend medical appointments and ensure I was listened to. Above all they treated me as an individual. They always made sure that what they were doing was suitable to me and what I needed at the time. It was this personalised approach that helped me move into Move On accommodation in Beeston, where I could get used to living alone again. It was hard at first but I was visited by a support worker twice a week who made sure I was getting on okay and was ready to be totally independent again. Having that space to breathe in was very important to me because it gave me confidence in myself again.
"When it was time to move out Framework were there again to help me secure a council property; they even helped me to get furniture. I love it there because it is more than a place to live: it is a home and I feel safe there.
"I am now debt free and better able to manage my finances. My depression and anxiety are being treated and I am more positive about the future than before. I have also just finished the first year of my social work degree at University – something I never thought I’d be saying a while ago!
“Without Framework I don’t know what would have happened. I can only think that my depression would have got worse and I would have taken my life. They were there for me when I needed them most have allowed me to move on with my life.”