Paul lost his one bed home of seven years and everything he owned while he was in psychiatric care under a section, which meant he was not allowed to leave the unit. He was told his belongings would be packed and stored so no need to worry. Unfortunately this was not the case and at the end of the tenancy agreement everything was emptied outside and most items were stolen.
For two months Paul’s address was Callington Road Hospital, Bristol.
Paul said: “It was horrific to lose everything I owned, people rummaging through my personal belongings and helping themselves.”
“My journey started with a medical fungal problem caused by a reaction to taking prescribed medication. A locum GP told me she was not experienced enough did not even give me replacement medication.
“It was then decided it was a mental health issue. To get the wrong diagnosis was torture. This was the point no one listened to a word I said . I was put in a box of being a druggie and being useless having no value or meaning. It took four years to get to see a dermatologist who listened and started to treat me for a four year long condition. I now see my dermatologist on a monthly basis".
As a homeless man in hospital, Paul was referred to Second Step who offered him a room at Toll House Court, their high support flats in Bedminster.
“Being in a supportive environment has given me the time and space to take positive risks and focus on MY future. I’m excited for the future for the first time for a very long time”.
The three things Paul feel happened to him once he was being supported by Second Step at Toll House Court were:
I was given a safe environment for the first time not being told I was deluded.
For the first time I was listened to and heard. No-one had done that before.
With Second Step I was respected and treated as a human being.
After 12 monthsat Toll House Court, Paul was ready to move into his own home with his dog Mr Bailey. He now lives in one of Second Step’s flats and receives regular support. He is delighted and says: “I feel ready to start living again”.