Paul lost his home and all his belongings while he was treated in a psychiatric unit under a section. For a couple of months his address was Callington Road Hospital, Bristol. Paul said: “It was horrific to lose everything”.
While Paul’s story is unique, he identifies with many hundreds of people in Bristol and in other cities who have nowhere to call home. For him getting back on his feet was about being listened to and really heard, and for those who run services in health and social care to see the person and not just the diagnosis.
This is why Paul is telling his story now – in the hope that services will recognise the importance of what people like him are saying.
“It was only once I got to Second Step that I felt I counted. They gave me a safe environment and for the first time I was not told I was deluded. They really listened to me – no-one had done that before and I was respected and treated as a human being.”
We met Paul over a year ago when he was given a flat at Toll House Court, one of the projects we manage which offer people without a home the support they need. Paul is now living independently in a flat of his own, still with some support, but with a lot more hope than he had before.