Sam’s story

by Emmy Idaewor, student intern

Sam* got in touch with HOS when she was staying with a friend who planned to move home.

The past few years had been tumultuous for Sam. Her physical and mental health had declined leading to a change in her housing situation, and her health was being impacted by her current housing situation too. She was living in an area wherein a lot of antisocial behaviour occurred and was reliant on a friend’s hospitality to keep a roof over her head. Unfortunately, her friend planned to move which meant that this shelter would soon come to end. Sam was stuck — she didn’t consider herself to be homeless, but she knew she was soon going to be.

Sam contacted her local council and housing associations explaining her situation. She was informed that she was not considered to be homeless as she was 8 weeks away from being homeless and therefore was placed on a housing list. Due to her mental health , PTSD, and physical health needs – a condition causing mobility issues – she wanted to find a quieter place, on the ground floor, and with an accessible bathroom. But this proved challenging as ground floor housing was only really offered to people over 55 years old.

Seeking support through the process of housing applications, Sam looked online and reached out to Housing Options Scotland. She was matched with her broker Eve who was a “godsend.” Along with other members of the Housing Options Scotland team, Eve helped Sam to navigate the system. They helped her in filling out forms that stated her medical priority and to move into the temporary accommodation she is currently in. In her temporary accommodation, Sam’s mental health has improved as she is longer stressed about where she will be staying and she feels safer as it is in a quieter area. However, she still needs a space more suitable for her physical needs.

Since working with Housing Options Scotland, Sam has gained a new understanding of homelessness as being a situation where one’s housing situation is unstable – such as hers where there was no tenancy agreement, and she was sofa surfing.

Sam is looking forward to what the future holds. She is looking forward to being offered a permanent place and decorating this new space. She would like to use her experiences to help other care-experienced people, so is looking forward to starting university to study psychology and counselling. She would advise anyone in a similar situation as her not to be embarrassed or ashamed to seek help from a service that aims to help; it is important to find someone to advocate for you as it is a “minefield” to navigate alone.

*Sam’s name has been changed for anonymity.


Posted on

June 29, 2022