Case Studies

My Experience at QMA

2314.jpgI moved into QMA on the 8th February 2011, I came in straight from hospital. I'd been in hospital for 5 months going through a Rehabilitation Programme. My mood was sombre when I first moved in. I'd just lost my mother the day before and my self esteem was at an all time low, I felt a lot of fear. The flat cheered me up when I saw it, it was bright, modern and light with a good view from my window to the garden.

My first weeks were spent going to see about getting my rent paid etc., accompanied by staff and getting introduced to the other residents. Some of the residents I'd met before in previous Woman's Homeless Projects. The Staff helped me to get into a routine with my cleaning, taking my prescription drugs at regular intervals and also to use the cooker and cooking tips, shopping, money management and bill paying. Within a couple of months I cooked a meal for the other residents when it was my turn. Residents that could cope, all took a turn once a week, usually on a Thursday. I enjoyed giving a hand with the preparation of QMA Monthly News Bulletin and helping in the garden when the weather was good. We had bingo nights, arts & crafts, sing along and karaoke nights - Memory Box nights from the museum that was one of my favourites. I think the best outing was my day out to Ayr with the other residents - a dip in the sea, a fish supper, ice cream and a good laugh. We also had open days like QMA Birthday, where we invited our family. A few months after I moved into QMA I got in touch with my family after many years and my daughter, all is good.

We got a morning and night call from staff, this was one of the first things that helped me to settle. The security I felt with 24 hour staff in the building and the warden on call system let me see who was at my door. I was allocated a keyworker when I first arrived in QMA and we had regular meetings. I attended a three month aftercare programme which I attended five days a week. This helped me to gain confidence. For the first few days Staff travelled there with me until I had the confidence to travel alone. When I finished this course I joined an aftercare group which I took part in a voluntary capacity, helping others who also have problems with addiction. I also did the Cosca Counselling Course and many other Training programmes since then. I don't think any of this could have been possible if I didn't have QMA as a stepping stone before I moved to my own house on the 15th November 2011, with the help and support of QMA and other agencies they put me in touch with.

I know the person I was when I walked through QMA doors - short tempered and insecure - and I know that the person I am now is more settled, more mature and more confident. I still attend the drop in centre at QMA on a Friday where myself and other ex residents from QMA meet up to have a coffee and exchange news on how each of us are doing.

Written by Annoymous

A Totally Different Approach

case-study_2.jpgI first arrived at Oxgangs on the 28th November 2011. I have been homeless for 14 months and in and out of prison for the last 15 years, since I was 15 years old. So I've worked with a lot of agencies and various support workers with different fields of expertise. But none of them worked. On arrival at Oxgangs my first impression was "here we go again". I met my support worker Mags the same day and she came across quite different from anyone I met before. It was an attitude that she wasn't here to tell me what I'd done wrong in the past or tell me she knew better.

The first couple of weeks I struck up quite a good relationship with Mags and her approach to dealing with problems was just to advise and get me into the habit of dealing with them myself. This is a totally different approach than ever before and normally people would try and tell you. However Mags just spoke to me like I was a person and got to know me as an individual. This attitude resonates through all the staff at Oxgangs, which seems to be a good working practice and achieves results.

The many problems I had before I came to Oxgangs were drug related, crime related, family relationship breakdowns; basically my life was just a mess. But since the 28th November things have gone from strength to strength. I've not been in trouble with the polis, never used any drugs, feel more confident in trying things for myself, and family relationships have grown strong. I've become more able to deal with problems in a diplomatic and sensible fashion, instead of using my knuckles…ha ha ha! To sum up, staff at Oxgangs have accomplished in 8 months what so-called expert professionals couldn't achieve in 15 years. Not only has working with Mags changed my life, it's basically saved my life. No praise would come close to the appreciation I have for the staff of Oxgangs.

Written by Alex McKeown

My Time at South Fort Street

case-study_3.jpgHello my name is William Young and I am staying at South Fort Street in Edinburgh. I want to let you know a bit about me, I am 42 years old and I have been homeless from 18 years old. I have had my own places and been married for 10 years but all that ended and I became homeless. I have been in a lot of homeless places but I was not happy in any of them.

The first time I came for an interview to get into South Fort Street was in 2010, I thought it would just be like the rest of the places I have been in, but I was so wrong. When I walked in the front door my heart dropped it was the nicest place I had been in. I met the staff for the first time, WoW, they talked to me like a person. I have never felt like that in my life, and my heart was happy, and it has never felt like that, so I knew I was going to be very happy in South Fort Street. I was only in South Fort Street for about 1 month in 2010. Then my life went from happy to sad, on the 5th February my brother died, and I started to drink. At this time I was staying at my sisters, but then she wanted me out and I knew I had to find somewhere to stay.

I went to my housing officer and he said that he would get me back into South Fort Street, and I said I will not get back into South Fort Street, but I was wrong. I got back in, and the staff made me very happy when I came for my interview in 2011. In the next 2 days I got back into South Fort Street. Gowrie Care and South Fort Street are the best Supported Accommodation ever in Scotland. We all feel like a family here, and I have never had that feeling in my life so a very big THANK YOU to South Fort Street and Gowrie Care for being my new family.

This is only the place ever, where I have been treated like a person and not like all the other places I have been in. All they wanted was just the money, not to help me. South Fort Street has helped me a lot so a big thank you to South Fort Street and Gowrie Care for what you have done for me in my life.

Written by William Young (Service User)