Real People, Real Stories
GMBOP's Pathfinder provides tailored homelessness support to real people across all ten Greater Manchester boroughs. We know that every young person we work with is an individual with dreams and aspirations, and we want to help make these a reality.
Have a read about some of the real people whose lives have been changed since reaching out to us.
*Not the young person's real name
The Young Person’s Homelessness Prevention programme has saved my life, it’s as simple as that."
Liam had been sofa-surfing since he was 16 years old, after his mother passed away. His relationship with his father, a regular substance abuser, quickly broke down; he spent the next decade without stable accommodation, trying to juggle everyday life alongside significant mental health challenges.
Having been referred to the Pathfinder's Young Person's Homelessness Prevention Programme, things began to change for Liam:
“Before I was referred, I’d pretty much given up hope of a better future as everything looked so bleak. I was having issues with my current landlord, my mental health was in a really bad place and I had no way of holding down employment.”
For Liam, “this all changed when I was introduced to Alan and Michelle, my two Progression Coaches. They showed me very early on that someone cared for me and believed in me and the support they’ve offered and continue to offer has been so important in helping give me a new perspective.
“Very early in our relationship I contemplated suicide - I was that low. I rang to tell them I was in A&E and within an hour Alan was sat next to me telling me we were going to get through this.”
Liam is being supported to look at what funding is available for him as a veteran of the British Army, so he can secure private accommodation, while he is also following a cognitive behavioural therapy programme to enable him to manage his mental health successfully. Keeping fit, thanks to a new gym membership and bike, has helped to improve his wellbeing and "get [his] head in the right place".
Liam has already secured a Forklift truck licence with employment and training support from GMBOP, and continues to focus on achieving his aspiration of qualifying as a joiner in the near future.
Read about Liam's story in more depth here:
You said you would get me a bike so I don’t miss important appointments and you did.
You said you’d get me a stable house and you did.
You referred me to high level and now I have reduced my substance use more than a half and I aim to get clean by December.
This is the most stable I have ever been and it’s all down to you. I trust you and I know you will help me which in the past, I didn’t trust no one."
24-year-old Sam was struggling with a chaotic home environment, which was having a serious impact on his mental health. He had slept in the garden on a number of occasions and relations were not good with his Mum.
Support from Pathfinder and his Progression Coach enabled Sam to learn tools and techniques to manage stress and conflict, helping to prevent certain situations escalating further.
Sam's coach also supported him to create a CV and helped him to explore his values and aspirations, to work out what area of work would suit him. Together, they looked at available opportunities and Sam has now taken up a video editing role.
With GMBOP's Pathfinder, Sam has been able to build confidence and a support network, and he is better able to manage the outbursts at home. The programme is supporting Sam to find meaningful work that will provide him with financial stability, and enable him to make a planned and a manged move.
I expected just to be parred off, I expected it just to be like “this is all we’ve got – there you go”, but the amount of support and the amount of networking they have here for you as a person, you’re not just another number put into a system... they address your problem directly."
Emily is a 21-year-old living with her daughter. She had shared that she feared her violent ex-partner knew where she was living and may return, which was contributing to poor mental health and preventing her from leaving the house.
Where before she had been classed as low accommodation priority, Emily's Progression Coach was able to advocate on her behalf in conversations with the local council, having listened to and discussed her concerns.
Emily was successfully placed in a new area of Manchester; access to the Pathfinder's Personalisation Fund helped her to pay a holding deposit and two weeks' rent in advance.
Working closely with Emily, her Progression Coach has made sure she is receiving perinatal mental health support that is specific to her situation. Thanks to this support, she is developing skills to overcome some of the challenges that come with moving to a new area with her daughter.
Emily is busy making her new house a home, exploring ways to engage with her local community, and enjoying her second pregnancy free of fear.
Pathfinder has changed my life. This is the first time I’ve felt treated like an actual human. I’d be in a very dark place without their support."