When Luca* was referred to our Supported Lodgings service, he was struggling to get his life together and was without a permanent place to live.

His mother had evicted him from the family home following on-going arguments, largely centred around his cannabis misuse and behavioural issues. Luca went to live with his estranged father, but that didn’t work out either. The outcome was equally bleak following a placement with a local supported accommodation project, and Luca found himself sofa surfing with no stability and no prospect of addressing his drug misuse and other issues.

Children’s Services referred Luca to Step by Step’s Supported Lodgings service. We used our in-depth matching process to find the ideal Host for him to live with. This careful matching process is integral to the high success rate of our Supported Lodgings placements.

In this case, the Host we chose for Luca had significant experience of working with ex-offenders and young people with challenging behavioural issues. The Host lives in a rural location, which appealed to Luca as he aspires to be a game keeper. Both parties met via our viewing process and made clear their commitment to each other and what was expected from the placement.

We assessed Luca to establish his goals and aspirations, his strengths, and what he wanted to focus on achieving. We then made it clear what was expected of Luca to maintain his placement, what the boundaries were, and the consequences were he to cross those boundaries.

Luca got on well with his Host. He was able to build his confidence and self-esteem. The highly supportive and friendly home was very different from the volatile situation he had come from.

It was not all plain sailing. Luca continued his cannabis misuse, would come home very late and failed to keep his room tidy. Working alongside the Host, the experienced STEP Worker managed these issues in a calm and supportive manner. Step by Step have developed a structured process of continually reviewing placements, monitoring any issues and working with all parties to find resolutions. The young person knows they could be evicted if they fail to engage with this process.

The issues with Luca were addressed. He has stopped his drug misuse, improved his communication skills and keeps his room clean. Crucially, Luca is able to understand that all of this framework is in place to support him in making changes and improving his life, opportunities that were not available to him in previous placements.

*Name changed to respect privacy.

Luca was homeless until helped by Step by Step Supported Lodgings Donate View all Stories