We believe everyone deserves a chance to improve their life. Our coaching culture focuses on asking people simple but powerful questions. Our primary goal is to help our residents and tenants become clear on their challenges and how to overcome them, empowering them to make the right choices for them – for now and the future.
We are proud to share the stories of some of the people who have used our services.
Please note names have been changed to maintain confidentiallity.
From addiction to employment
Stephen comes from St Albans where he was a heroin and crack cocaine user for many years. Stephen has a long criminal record and has been to prison several times for offences to feed his heroin and crack cocaine habit.
Stephen split up with his girlfriend who was also using heroin and crack cocaine. They had a little boy aged three but could not look after him in the way they needed to or support him, so they gave parental guardianship to his brother-in-law. Stephen maintains that he really loved his son but knew he could not provide for him while he was on heroin and crack.
Stephen was in and out of prison but despite going to rehab then relapsed. He left St Albans to come to Luton where his brother lives but, at this point, was not in contact with him as they did not speak. Stephen became street homeless, sleeping in cars and on the street. He was trying to work ‘cash in hand’ but was robbed on the street. He'd had enough of using drugs and living the way he did, so he came to Squared and was housed in one of our properties.
Stephen moved in and within the first couple of months became clean from all drugs, having weekly one to one coaching as well as coming to our ‘drop in’ every Friday for breakfast and to use the computers. Stephen has been showing his support worker tests to prove he has not been using heroin or crack.
Stephen has been clean from all drugs for 7-8 months. He has lived in one of our properties since April 2019 and is doing well. He is now having regular contact with his son who is now eleven years old and is hoping for overnight contact soon.
Stephen has been a good tenant who we have had no issues with, and he is currently looking for full time employment.
Time to Talk therapy turns the tide
Tom was referred to Squared from the Luton Borough Council Homeless prevention team in June 2018 with quite complex housing and health needs.
Coming from a relationship breakdown, diagnosed with MS and with poor mobility, in his words he had been shunned by his community.
We accepted the referral and completed an initial assessment. As a team we talked over the best way we could offer support and find an appropriate room that would suit his needs. A ground floor room was identified that was close to a ground floor shower and toilet.
We supported Tom to contact the O/T department to get adaptations needed to live independently and to ensure he had his own walking frame, commode and kitchen stool.
We also supported Tom to address housing issues that would prevent him getting on to the Luton Borough Council housing register.
Tom managed to settle in well and engaged with staff regarding health, relationship and housing issues. At first it was a struggle to get Tom on to the housing register as it took some time to get him removed from the family tenancy and off a joint housing benefit claim. This was completed and we started work on getting Tom on to the housing register. It became apparent that although Tom was engaging with staff, he was becoming depressed and not dealing with letters and phone calls regarding benefits and housing.
We supported Tom in contacting his GP and offered one on one counselling with our Time to Talk therapy service. This seemed to work and Tom's mental health improved, so we started to work together more positively. This included dealing with post, phone calls, and meeting with local housing and O/T departments, regarding assessment for future suitable accommodation. This took time but went well, meaning that nine months later Tom was on the housing register. When he started bidding however Tom was not given high priority and couldn't find somewhere to move onto. We revisited Tom's housing application to find that no medical points were awarded, so this was addressed by staff supporting Tom to complete a new medical assessment form and getting appointments to assess Tom's housing and health needs.
In late October 2019 Tom became a high priority and his bidding was second and third on the list. After numerous calls to the housing department we finally got over to housing solutions that it wasn’t appropriate for Tom to continue living in a HMO property, and a property was offered.
Tom was offered a ground floor flat with a walk-in shower room and moved in in November 2019.
Over the next two weeks Tom was supported to attend meetings to sign the tenancy and signposted to arrange household items he needed. Over the past year Tom has engaged well with staff and Time to Talk therapy and also started to rebuild family relationships. We are still offering support to Tom with phone contact once a week and a monthly visit. We are at the end of the phone if support is needed and he is still attending Time to Talk therapy.
From severe PTSD and homelessness to inspiring the next generation
Enzo moved to Squared in December 2018. He presented with PTSD and very poor mental health, regularly engaging with the local community mental health team but was struggling to move forward. Enzo presented right from the beginning as very motivated and determined to improve his mental health and succeed in moving his life forward in a positive way.
Enzo had a long history of substance misuse, being involved in gangs, drug dealing and served a three year prison sentence. He was held in a deportation centre wrongly for two years where he experienced horrendous treatment and observed some terrible situations, all of which contributed to his PTSD.
Enzo from the offset showed his commitment to his recovery and attended all of his one to one coaching appointments and has continued, for over a year, with weekly counselling sessions with Time to Talk. With the right support in place we managed, as a service, to gain Enzo's trust. This enabled him to address all his underlying issues with people, to the point where he felt safe with those around him and could start building a positive future for himself and his children.
In the space of a year Enzo progressed forward and was moved from a single room in a HMO house into a self-contained studio flat and from there into one of Squared Homes for Independent Living properties.
We have watched Enzo grow and become more confident and settled to the extent where he is able to maintain independence and build a crime free life. He no longer uses substances of any kind.
Enzo no longer needs the support of the community mental health team and has been volunteering for Squared for the last five months. He ran an open group with our young male tenants (approx. 20) to discuss gang life, knife crime and drug use/ dealing. He encouraged them to look at their lifestyle choices and openly discussed the impact his offending behaviour had on his own life and that of his family. Along with what consequences he faced due to his own poor choices and how this caused great difficulty with his mental health.
Enzo has recently been helping with maintenance and has a very good chance of gaining employment with Squared when a suitable post becomes available. His relationship with his children has grown very positively and he now has regular contact, becoming very involved in their day to day lives, education and supporting them financially.