James’ Story

James came to Housing Options Scotland for support earlier this year, at the recommendation of his mental health adviser. He had been sofa surfing since the beginning of the pandemic, mostly between his parents’ respective homes. Difficulties with his mental health had meant that he needed to move back to Scotland after living in London for a period.

“I was missing my family and really wanted to come back to Glasgow.”

When James initially made a referral, he was allocated to the Homeless Housing Options project, and heard back from Moira, our CEO, within 24 hours.

“I had looked at his referral and it was clear that James needed our support straight away”, Moira explains. “I contacted him to give him some initial advice, and to encourage him to apply as homeless with his local authority.”

James was unaware that he would qualify as homeless. “I didn’t consider myself as homeless, but it was a constant worry that if anything happened to my mum I would have nowhere to go. It wasn’t until Moira spoke to me that I realised could be considered as homeless.”

Homeless Housing Options broker Eve then took on James’ case. She also encouraged James to apply as homeless, however he had some concerns about this.

James was living between his parents’ homes – and had managed to secure some employment. However, because his father is disabled and in receipt of benefits, James was worried that his income would impact on his dad’s benefits entitlement.   Eve put James in touch with our benefits advisor, Fiona.

Fiona explains, “Staying with other people who are in receipt of benefits, whether they charge for lodgings or not, can have an impact on their benefits. Many people may not realise this when they offer accommodation to a friend or relative.”

Because of these worries, James ultimately decided not to apply as homeless. However, he was supported by our Resources Manager, Sarah, to apply to a local housing association, after being made aware of some immediately available properties.

James says, “I find filling in forms difficult, so having someone helping me really was a load off my mind. It was really nice having someone helping me with that.”

Eve says, “James’ situation was fairly unique and came with its own challenges. We assumed that James could simply apply as homeless and wait for an offer of housing. However, James had to consider the impact that this would have on his dad’s situation, which made the situation more complicated.”

Despite not applying as homeless, the housing association took his situation into account and agreed to give James homeless priority. Within a couple of months, James got an offer on a property. He has since moved in and is looking forward to the future.

“Eve was really helpful” he said. “I’m excited. It’s a nice house. It’s good to have my own independence back!”


Posted on

March 17, 2022