Peter lives in a spacious two-bedroom flat close to the city walls. The living room is filled with plants which provide a playground for his lively kittens Sally and Skipper. Four months ago Peter was living in temporary accommodation waiting to bid on a council property. He became homeless following a relationship breakdown which took its toll on his mental health.
Peter moved into Barnard’s Yard; temporary accommodation provided by Norwich City Council, and the support is provided by St Martins. Peter said, “The day before moving in I considered the worst situation of my life. St Martins eased that transition. I signed the paperwork and they left me to myself. I needed time alone and they seemed to understand that. For me it was perfect, all that I wanted. I get stressed very easily. I was concerned. I’m not good with change.”
Once Peter moved into his new flat that was not the end of St Martin’s support. He was put in touch with Kim, whose role is to ease the transition on moving on so that people have the best success of maintaining their tenancies.
Peter describes the feeling of relief when he realised Kim was on hand to help him set up his new home. Peter’s finances have nearly doubled since he started working with Kim who helped Peter sort out his benefits and PIP claim. He said, “It’s a load off my mind.”
“What’s Kim not done?! She helped sort out the electricity as the account was still linked to the previous tenant. She helped with medical stuff, phone calls to the council, everything that needed setting up.” Peter describes seeing Kim as a ‘morale boost part way through the week’ and feels more capable to solve any problems that arise. “I haven’t got anyone else so it’s nice to know someone cares what you are doing.”
The number one thing Peter wanted when he moved out of Barnard’s Yard was to get a cat. He said, “I find cats intrinsic to my own mental health. I need cats in my life.”
Sally and Skipper are sisters and are 14 weeks old. They are constantly playing, providing entertainment and affection to Peter.
Peter loves his new flat, he said, “I don’t plan on leaving here. You’d have to drag me out of here by my fingernails!”
“St Martins have been unbelievably helpful. Put your faith in them – everyone knows what they are doing.”