“It’s just echoes”: Helen’s story

Helen moved into an empty house after completing nineteen months of rehabilitation. Reflecting on the day she moved into her new home Helen said “I had nothing, nothing. All I had was support”.

Support came through Louise, Helen’s support worker from Double Impact in Nottingham. Louise sees many people, like Helen, who leave rehab with absolutely no belongings at all. The move into an empty home was daunting for Helen. “It’s an echo, ’cos there’s nothing in it. It’s just echoes. You feel overwhelmed you’ve got yourself a two bedroomed house but it’s just an echo.”

Helen was awarded £250 by the Vicar’s Relief Fund just a few days after she moved in. She was able to buy a few things that she needed. Helen says “£250 bought me a toaster, a fridge, essentials what you needed. And I was happy with that. As long as I can cook, keep my food cold, I was alright”.

Louise knows how typical Helen’s story is. “The reality is that a lot of people are given keys to a home with nothing in it. You are so vulnerable in those first few months after leaving rehab that just to be able to get a few essentials together just to cook and eat and buy some electric, makes a massive difference.”

The Vicar’s Relief Fund helped to give Helen a home, as she says “I’ve got gas, I’ve got electric, got a roof over my head, got food in my belly and I’ve gone through another 24 hours of being clean”.