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Ending up on the streets

Aaron was living with a friend when he started experiencing epileptic seizures on a regular basis. His friend couldn’t handle this and asked Aaron to leave.

“I ended up sleeping in a tent in an alleyway still having seizures. The neighbours would come and bring me food out. A couple of times they had to call an ambulance because I was having seizures in the tent.”

Aaron made a homeless application to the local authority but was turned down for help. So his friend trawled through the internet looking for a way to get him help. She found the details for StreetLink and referred Aaron to the service, and encouraged him to do the same. The team at StreetLink then alerted London Street Rescue as to where Aaron was sleeping and the next evening outreach workers found him and brought him to us at No Second Night Out.

Feeling despondent

Unfortunately this wasn’t the end of Aaron’s ordeal. Our assessment hub workers supported Aaron to make a new homelessness application to the local authority, but this was refused again. We submitted a request for review on Aaron’s behalf, but again he was turned away.

“My case had started to progress but at one point it felt like it had stopped – like it had run its course. I thought I was never going to get anywhere, that it was a joke. I lost my faith in the system. Then my seizures started again and I was in and out of hospital.”

Perseverance paying off

At NSNO we approached a solicitor for legal assistance with requesting a further review of the decision. The team prepared a comprehensive appeal which lead to the local authority overturning their earlier decision; they accepted full housing duty for Aaron and he was granted medical priority due to his epilepsy. Aaron’s now in temporary accommodation while he waits for his permanent home. With a safe and suitable home, Aaron can finally get his life back on track.

“NSNO helps so many people – I’ve never been helped by people who take such an interest in your wellbeing. One of the staff members told me she’d felt so relieved with the outcome and had a feeling that she’d actually helped someone that needs it. I love helping people in need and I’d love to do the kind of work that people do at NSNO full time.

The minute I get my flat I’ll be making a cake for the staff at the hub. They deserve it here – they deserve every recognition I can give them.

I’m going to get a dog once I’m in my new place. He’ll look after me as much as I look after him. I’m going to get a medical dog – there are dogs now that can detect when you’re going to have a seizure and bark for help.

My outlook on life and my future is much more positive and I can’t wait to live it.”