Spotlight on services

How Housing First is changing lives: Lyndon’s story

Housing First provides people with rapid access to stable housing, and from there they can receive the other support they need. Since joining Crisis’ Housing First programme, Lyndon has gone from sleeping rough to having a safe home.

Lyndon outside his flat

Lyndon’s father died when he was four, and his mother beat him throughout his childhood. When he was just five, he was in a car crash and suffered brain damage, which still affects him now. He worked as a decorator for years, but when his relationship broke down, he was pushed into homelessness. He had a nervous breakdown and couldn’t work.  

“I lost my girlfriend, my daughter and my flat. I couldn’t go to work because I had no home.” 

Lyndon experienced homelessness on and off for years – at one point he was sleeping rough without even a coat. When he came to Crisis in 2019, Lyndon started rebuilding his life. 

“I started going to the Crisis Skylight in Croydon to have a shower and wash my clothes and bedding. I was introduced to Alex who became my housing coach. I have been housed ever since." 

Lyndon used Crisis’ Housing First service, which is rooted in individuals having choice and control. 

Thanks to Crisis, Lyndon can now access local services.

He’s back in contact with his mum and daughter and he’s working towards living independently from Crisis, whenever that may come.  

“I have had support with everything from Crisis.

"Due to my brain damage, I can’t remember my passwords, my banking – they help me do everything. Crisis got me this laptop – it helps me store my passwords and I love it. I can live on my own, but I need support, to help me keep moving forward and so I don't get taken advantage of.

"My Crisis coach Alex has become a very close trusted friend. He is one of the people I think most of in the world.”

This is Lyndon’s story, but his photo has been changed to protect his identity. 

Thank you for helping us to do more

We’re all feeling the impact of the pandemic, but right now, people facing homelessness are being hit particularly hard. And it’s putting more people at risk of losing their home too. Thanks to you, we’ve been able to adapt fast and help more people by evolving our housing services:

Thank you for boosting emotional wellbeing

There are many factors involved in ending homelessness and boosting someone’s emotional wellbeing is key. Here Dr Rachel Blundell, a Crisis clinical psychologist, and Keiron, Expert by Experience, explain how you’re helping people build the relationships that make the difference.

Man at Crisis reception accessing services

Homelessness can be a deeply traumatising experience. Whether you’ve been forced to live on the streets, sleep in a car, or stay on different people’s sofas, you can’t underestimate the negative impact it can have on someone, the incredible emotional energy it takes to simply survive.

That’s why our teams, with the support of clinical psychologists, help make sure that everything we do is psychologically-informed. That means all the help that Crisis gives – from assessing someone’s needs, to supporting people to get on the housing list, to the classes we offer – is all done with an understanding that building positive relationships, tailored to the needs and experiences of each member, is key.

Take filling out a form. Many people who are homeless have filled out countless forms before, but with no meaningful result. On top of that, distilling some of the most sensitive and difficult parts of your life can be re-traumatising.

So, when we help people fill out forms, we do it with care and understanding.

Emotional wellbeing is at the heart of all we do. Keiron highlights the confidence that comes with attending a class and learning a new skill, and how seeing other’s achievements, through the artwork in the building for example, can open up possibilities and help people to believe in themselves.

Everyone who comes through our doors is different, but time and again we hear stories of exclusion. Of people feeling left behind, of feeling forgotten. It makes it very hard for people experiencing homelessness to trust again.

At Crisis, it’s vital we rebuild that trust. It helps people engage with our services and take step after step out of homelessness.

For many people who are homeless, trust in services can be so low that even walking through the doors of Crisis is a huge step. So, we start building positive relationships the minute someone arrives. 

Positive trusting relationships are the foundation that help us move forward in our lives. Without them things can just feel too overwhelming. It’s why, at Crisis, emotional wellbeing is threaded through everything we do and central in our work to ending homelessness for good, and it’s all thanks to you.