Ex-offender Daniel age 42 who was homeless for five years is turning his life around in his new home thanks to the support of the forfutures team

The dedicated forfutures team works on behalf of Cheshire West & Chester Council with vulnerable individuals to pave the way for a brighter tomorrow.

Daniels story is a testament to their unwavering commitment.

In 2018, Daniel found himself with no place to call home on his release from prison. As is often the case for ex-offenders, he had nowhere to turn and found himself homeless and sleeping rough on the streets of Chester.

Daniel struggled with alcohol and substance misuse, and at this time he wasn’t ready to engage with the support offered to him by the outreach team.

Daniel was offered temporary accommodation but he didn’t feel ready to accept this offer due to his trauma from his time in prison, his time on the streets, addiction, hospitalisations, and battles with his mental health, including suicidal thoughts. This continued for the next few years.

Recognising the urgency of his situation, a coalition of partners met to explore ways to help him. The Multi-Agency Rough Sleeping (MARS) group played a pivotal role in placing Daniel in temporary accommodation again, and he moved into a hotel in November 2021.

He stayed here until March 2022 when, unfortunately, Daniel was hospitalised. Thankfully, on his discharge, he was moved to the Annex, a provision funded by Cheshire West & Chester Council which offers accommodation and 24-hour wrap-around support from forfutures.

At the Annex, Daniel was finally in the right place at the right time for him. Forfutures staff played an instrumental role in his journey to recovery. He accessed Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, received expert mental health support, was referred to a counsellor, and started on the path to financial independence.

The forfutures Navigate Team, who are focused on getting customers into a stable home and supporting them to maintain their tenancy, worked closely with Daniel to prepare him to move into his own place by offering guidance on how to look after his home and undertake everyday tasks – such as managing household bills and securing benefits he was entitled to.

In July 2023, Daniel took a significant step forward by moving into his forever home. With ongoing support, he has made a fresh start and is successfully moving forward with his life.

Daniel said: “Forfutures gave me a second chance when I had nowhere else to turn. They stuck with me through the tough times, helping me overcome my challenges step by step. Thanks to them, I have a home I can call my own, and I’m on the road to a better future.”

Sarah Ellis, forfuture’s Accommodation Service Manager, said:

“At forfutures we work with people like Daniel every day to give them hope and supporting them to ultimately find a safe and stable home. We were able to make this possible by working together with partners to support Daniel in the way he needed.

“The story of Daniel’s journey highlights the complexities involved in a successful move to a long-term home and the importance of providing consistent support at all stages of homelessness.

“It shows how making services accessible to people, allowing them to feel empowered and build confidence over time can lead to a positive ending. We were there when Daniel was ready and made sure we worked at a pace he was comfortable with.”

By putting individuals at the heart of all they do, the forfutures team ensures that everyone has the chance to live comfortably, safely, and happily.

By working with people affected by homelessness, they create possibilities to improve people like Daniel’s quality of life.

If you’re in the Cheshire West and Chester area and are at risk of becoming homeless, contact Housing Options on 0808 175 3595 (option 2) or via their website www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/residents/housing/housing-advice-and-homelessness/housing-advice-and-homelessness. Cheshire West and Chester Council can support you to identify the help you need and the housing options available to you.