Poor physical and mental health are known to be both a cause and consequence of homelessness. Multiple and complex health needs make it harder to access resources and support. Homelessness is stressful and traumatic. People who are homeless are twice as likely to report a physical or mental health condition, compared to the general population*.
At almost 60, and although living with severe schizophrenia, Mani's life was relatively stable. He was living in a one bedroom flat and managing his mental health with regular medication.
His stability was turned upside down in June 2020, when Mani took in a friend who was at risk of homelessness themselves and had nowhere else to stay.
The generosity of giving a safe place to a friend had unintended consequences.
His local council stopped his housing benefit until Mani could provide more information about the person staying with him. Mani couldn't cover his rent, and his schizophrenia made it hard for him to contest the decision without help.
Schizophrenia is different for every person and often misunderstood. It often makes it much harder to do simple everyday tasks. The side effects of the medication to manage this condition are significant and can exacerbate issues with carrying out tasks and communicating complex issues. Around one in every 100 people* is diagnosed with schizophrenia. Extremely stressful events such as Mani was facing are known to trigger schizophrenic symptoms in those who are vulnerable to it.
Despite this, Mani had also been turned down for a type of income assistance for the extra costs that people with disabilities have.
At the Centre, Mani confided to the Advice team that he had experienced some form of homelessness in past and he was afraid of losing his home again.
Mani's caseworker helped him to gather the information and appealed the decision, as well as demonstrating the impact of his schizophrenia in his everyday life.
Accessing a local service with people equipped to guide him through the complexities of the process was key. With the Cardinal Hume Centre's help, Mani secured his housing support again, as well as additional income support for him to maintain independence and manage the long-term costs of his health condition.
Helping Mani to stay in his home, and enhancing his income, means that Mani has more chance of avoiding facing homelessness again.
Your support can help people like Mani to get help and support at the Centre. Make a donation today so that people can get the support that they deserve.