My life had been chaotic before when I was in and out of prison, and homeless

I started off on the streets where I was begging for money and food after being thrown out of my house I had at the time.

I was sentenced to prison, and then I ended up in hospital. I spent 6 weeks in hospital before I was housed in Penumbra supported accommodation.

I felt really confused when I first arrived at the accommodation, I felt unsure and fearful – it took me some time to adjust living there, rules, regular, things like that. I felt safe at Park Cottage and eventually it started to feel like home. The thought of ever leaving Park Cottage made me feel fearful and unsure and a wee bit unsafe. I didn’t know what the future would be like for me.

I enjoyed living at Park Cottage, it was good. I had enough privacy and also enough interaction when I needed it from staff and the other residents. I joined a walking group, cooking group and an IT computing group while I resided in Park Cottage – I always felt I had enough to do.

I built up good relationships with the staff team while I was there and had some good times. I always had support at hand and someone to talk to if I needed it. Sometimes I would struggle but I always knew there was someone to talk to, I feel like the staff really understood. I used to get involved in cooking, I really enjoyed this and it was nice to do things like that again, just normal day to day things.

It was lovely in the summer time when we could all sit out in the garden together and talk and tell stories. I feel like Park Cottage really helped me to get back on my feet again and in some kind of routine. I always felt safe, and my village is a lovely wee place with nice locals.

My life had been chaotic before when I was in and out of prison and homeless. It was nice to feel settled and safe in the supported accommodation and to start focusing on my recovery from the things I had previously been through. By the time my new tenancy offer for a house came up, I felt confident and ready to move on. I realised then that I had really came a long way in my recovery.

When I was offered my wee house I felt really nervous about it. It is quite far away from the supported accommodation and I don’t know anyone in that area. I felt happy and excited too, I was really looking forward to having my own space, peace and quiet again. I feel safe in my new home, I’ve got it looking lovely and it’s cosy and warm. All I need to do now is get some pictures on the wall and then it will be complete.

The change in my life is humongous, it’s like night and day. Where I am today from living in the streets. It’s been a journey.

This blog was written by Kim who accessed Penumbra support. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us, Kim.

If you’ve been inspired to share your own journey with us, drop us a line on communications@penumbra.org.uk