Anonymous Former Resident
A Residents Story
Mia's Story
Martyn's Story
Bryn's Story
Ashley's Story
Pete's Story
Barry's Story
Lizzie's Story
Geordie's Story

Anonymous Former Resident

I had been sofa surfing with friends and family for about 15 years, throughout this time I was taking drugs and drinking alcohol and fighting an ongoing struggle with my mental health. I eventually ran out of places to stay and became completely homeless after a family relationship broke down.

I was interviewed by staff from Faith Hope and Enterprise and was offered a room in a shared house where I lived for 2 and ½ years.

The support I had was excellent. They were caring, prepared to listen and help to open doors to whatever I wanted from life. I hadn’t realised how much I could have (in life) until the support was offered to me.

The accommodation felt safe and in this time I was given support in many areas of life. I was supported to attend appointments regarding my health and my drug and alcohol misuse. This helped me to get to the appointments, which I would have avoided, and I always felt loads better once we had been to them. My support worker helped me set up a bank account so my benefits were paid directly to me, giving me control over my own finances. They also made sure I was on the right benefits.

Over time I became more confident that I could live independently, without support, and was encouraged and helped to take the steps I needed to take.

I have been living independently in a social housing bungalow now for almost 15 months.

The support I had was “like magic” and I don’t think I’d be here now if I hadn’t been given the chance to live there.

I no longer drink alcohol, and haven’t done since Feb 2023, and I am gradually reducing my methadone prescription. My health has improved massively.

I have excellent relationships with family members, including my kids.

I can even say I am sorting out my debts and will soon have them paid off!

May 2024

A Residents Story

Mia's Story

I lived in Preston. The day I left Preston I left my kids to come down to live with my uncle whilst I came off drugs. When I was clean I ended up getting my NVQ levels 1-4 in care work and got my health & safety NVQs which enabled me to work in care during the week (sometimes up to 14 hours a day) and at the Derby County football ground as a steward at the weekend.

I injured my back whilst doing care work and my uncle couldn’t support me financially. I couldn’t sleep on his sofa as my back was too painful. I went to Derby City Council and told them I was homeless and they put me in Milestone House.

Someone from the council referred me to Faith Hope & Enterprise and I had an interview with them. They agreed to house me in a women’s shared house. After a while they moved me to my own flat in Ashbourne. I had a roof over my head, support with my medical appointments, hospital visits and appointments for my mental health. I had help with food if I ran out of money. If I had not had the support I would not have had the courage or mind-set to try to resolve my health and other issues.

Faith Hope & Enterprise supported me making an application with Derbyshire Dales District Council Home Options and I have just moved into a 2 bed flat in Ashbourne with my son who has come down from Preston to live with me whilst he finds work. I have had contact with my other children who came down to spend some time in Derby so I could visit them.

Faith Hope and Enterprise referred me to Hope City Furnishings and I was given furniture for my new home. I had nothing when I moved into my new flat as my supported accommodation was fully furnished. I have had help applying for various grants and loans towards my rent deposit, a cooker and carpets.

I want to continue building relationships with my kids and to get my back sorted so that I can go back into care work. I am more independent, making phone calls, dealing with letters and facing up to my responsibilities even when it makes me anxious.

I just want to say thank you very, very much for everything Faith Hope and Enterprise has done for me. It means ever so much. I feel like my life has gone from being a mess 6 years ago to being together now. I have even got one of my children back.

Martyn's Story

I came to Faith Hope and Enterprise from Sunderland. They made me very welcome in a shared house. I found that due to the support I have got from their team, I have got a lot more positive and confident whilst here in Derby.

I was able to do a number of activities such as football and cycling. I kept myself busy by working in the Derby Cancer Research shop a couple of days a week. I also joined the Derby Community Trust and found friends there.

The support from the team has been excellent, positive and helpful. I think F.H.E. gave me a good platform in life. I have been lucky enough to find the right employment in the Hospitality Industry. I am thankful to F.H.E. and wish the team good wishes.

Bryn's Story

I met Kevin in Matlock. I was homeless, he found me a place in Derby and took me there that day. I lived in a shared house in Derby. Because I have 2 children I was moved to a larger shared house where it was alright for my children to visit. Faith Hope and Enterprise helped me get an extra bed and things for the children. I then moved to Ashbourne to be in a self contained property. This was so that the children could stay with me more often. The children are now living with me 100% of the time because of concerns about their mum and family. It’s hard work but the best. I have had lots of support from Faith Hope and Enterprise with court and getting them into schools. They are doing really well, happy and healthy.

If Kevin hadn’t picked me up that day I would probably be in prison or hospital. It has helped me to change my life for the better. I have 2 happy children, a fiancé, and a much happier life. I am now discharged from outpatients for mental health as I am so much better. I am really optimistic for my future and so grateful for all the help I have had from Kevin and all the staff at Faith Hope and Enterprise.

Ashley's Story

I was in a probation hostel with a couple of weeks left to serve, I had to leave so I was looking for another place. I was nervous about where I would end up.

The phone call for an interview with FHE came out of nowhere. The interview went well and I moved into the accommodation very quickly.

FHE sorted out all the paperwork (something I have always struggled with), the room was excellent, the house was clean, it was a peaceful space with good housemates and I had the support I needed.

I am now currently in rented accommodation and looking for work.

I have to thank FHE for giving me the opportunity to learn this new life of mine. People with problems like mine don’t get many opportunities and are not often reached. I am very grateful to FHE.

Pete's Story

I came into contact with Faith, Hope and Enterprise after a six month period of homelessness. This was not caused by alcohol, drugs or violence, I was simply made redundant and was unable to find another job in the time the DWP allowed. This caused a domino effect whereby I lost my 25 year long relationship and subsequently my house and car, this all happened with frightening speed and left me reeling.

My health suffered badly but I was unable to get treatment or benefits owing to my lack of address and this exacerbated the situation exponentially until, after six months, to use a cliche, I was at the end of my rope. My situation was hopeless and I could see no way out.

A chance phone call to Age UK put me in touch with Faith Hope and Enterprise and within 48 hours I had a home. It quite literally saved my life. I was able to get the medical treatment I needed and could finally claim the benefit I was entitled to.

Kevin, Louise and all the staff were absolutely amazing, at the end of the phone no matter what time day or night and always doing everything they could to help me get back on track with my life.

I’m happy to say that after an eighteen month stay with them my health has greatly improved and I’ve now moved on to a permanent home of my own. I could not have done it without the help, support and encouragement of the whole team and thanks to them I now look forward to a rosy future.

Barry's Story

My name is Barry,

I met Kevin through my drug worker Avril. When I met Kevin I was down and out with nowhere to live or sleep. I was depressed, could not read and write properly, found it hard to go to appointments, and did not trust people – let’s just say I had issues.

I have known Kevin for about 3 years now, since knowing him, and with the help of my drug worker, I have stayed off drugs, I now have somewhere to live, and through Faith Hope and Enterprise I met a lady called Debs who has helped me with my reading and writing, which is coming on strong now.

I also had problems dealing with people, so many of them had done bad things to me, I didn’t trust them, but I am slowly working on that – tiny steps yes.

Things are looking up, I would like to say thank you to Kevin and Mel and all the Faith Hope and Enterprise team. If they can help you they will, if not, they will find someone for you.

I could not ask for better, and my depression is also getting better slowly.

All in all, it’s looking good. I would also like to say thank you to Avril and Debs.

Lizzie's Story

With 11 years of substance misuse and all the horrors that come with that, I found a solution to start on my journey of recovery.

I was about 40 days clean but was still homeless and sofa surfing when I found Faith Hope Enterprise on the internet. I managed to arrange a meeting with Kevin at a cafe in Derby to discuss my situation. I can’t express the relief and gratitude I felt in the moment when a bedroom was offered to me. Kevin and his family welcomed me not just into one of their properties but more amazingly, into their lives.

Kevin was a huge support to me and met with me regularly. We would go for walks, for food, for coffee, and he’d take me to meetings. You name it, Kevin was there. The guys that work with Kevin gave me so many laughs and I used to love them coming round. They were all so helpful and supportive. Kevin’s wife, Mel, offered to teach me to play the piano and even let me borrow one to practise at home.

I spent evenings with Kevin, Mel and his three beautiful girls, playing music, watching TV, eating meals and laughing whilst gradually building hope within me. Faith Hope and Enterprise gave me an incredible platform to start rebuilding my life. I still get goosebumps when I think back to that part of my life and cant help but think that if it wasn’t for Faith Hope Enterprise I don’t know where I would be today.

Faith and hope in myself was definitely created during my time with these selfless and beautiful people. Today, I am over 4 years clean and sober (woop), I’m employable and love my job, I’ve done a lot of travelling, I have my own place and I’m a functioning member of society. I have amazing relationships with family and friends and have learnt to take care of myself properly! My life today is truly amazing and yes, times can still be tough but thats just life! It’s how I deal with it that makes all the difference now.

Geordie's Story

I was an alcoholic and in prison for driving whilst drunk when a support worker for Faith Hope and Enterprise came to prison and interviewed me in 2012. It was good to know that I would have a home to go to and some support in place. I was glad that they met me at the prison gate when I was released.

I lived in a shared house and then my own flat.

I was able to volunteer with the company while I lived in their accommodation, helping with practical jobs such as decorating and gardening. It gave me a sense of purpose and I still regularly help with practical tasks.

I became alcohol free and moved into my own, independent accommodation in 2018.

Now, I see support workers on a social basis, volunteer with practical tasks that need doing and meet with the trustees of the charity regularly to provide guidance and feedback on their decisions from the perspective of residents and as someone who has turned their life around because of their support and encouragement.