Terry was feeling overwhelmed, having found himself jobless and homeless after years of being independent and doing a well paid job that he loved. With support from our Enablement Team, Terry began the process of getting his life back on track, putting together a support plan with his key worker, tailored to his individual needs and wishes.
After finding Terry hostel accommodation, we linked him in with alcohol, drug and mental health services, where he was offered weekly support and counselling to help him deal with his drug and alcohol problems and get the emotional support he needed. Soon, he was able to prepare to return to work. He began attending Whitechapel’s weekly Employment &Training Drop In, using our IT suite to prepare a CV and make job applications. Now drug and alcohol free, he was eventually successful at getting the offer of work on board a new ship and we assisted him in getting references and a copy of his service record and a new passport, which he had lost when he was homeless. This was a complex and costly process which would have been so much more difficult for Terry to do alone, as he had no access to a phone, internet etc. or money to replace his lost documents and passport. Without support, he may not have been able to progress past this point. We applied for a grant from a seamen’s charity to get Terry a new passport and documents so he was able to travel out of the UK to meet his new ship in Dubai.
Six months on, Terry is still at sea, working for the same company and he emails us occasionally from different destinations around the world. Terry’s story is just one of many from The Whitechapel Centre, which go to show how easy it can be for any one of us to suddenly find ourselves in drastically changed circumstances, homeless and living in poverty. With our support, we hope to be able to offer others like Terry, solutions that enable them to get back on their feet.