12 April 2023
Dee came to us in the summer of 2020 after staying in a local B&B.
When Dee moved into one of our supported housing projects, Grace Harris House, she was extremely distraught and needed a great deal of support. She was very wary of going outside and frightened of men. Our staff could see it would take time to earn her trust and help her build her confidence.
It is believed that Dee had experienced abuse as a child and was forced to work as a sex slave. She began her journey with us in constant fear that the men from her past would find her. Dee would slide along the wall to get to the toilet so no one could come up from behind. Staff provided constant support to reassure her she was safe and secure in her new environment.
Our support workers spent a great deal of time with Dee supporting her through her panic attacks and helping her with a daily routine. Dee’s panic attacks were often triggered by sounds of men’s voices outside. She struggled to carry out simple tasks that we take for granted, such as showering, laundry, and going to the shop. Staff at Grace Harris House worked to earn her trust and managed to help Dee complete more and more small tasks over time.
When a new resident needed Dee’s current room, she had to move upstairs to a new space. Dee’s support worker kindly asked the other residents to stay in their rooms while she made the ascent, step by step, up to her new room. She went up the stairs on her bum, but she did it. Dee was given a pair of binoculars so that she could see the sunrise, sunset, woods and stars and learn to focus on good things. Her and her support worker created a list of her demons to put on her wall that she could work through in baby steps.
Going outside, even into the back garden, was still a heavy task for Dee. Our staff worked closely to encourage Dee to come downstairs once a week and help put her laundry on, and even step into the garden briefly. Over time, she made it closer and closer to the back gate, step by step. Eventually, Dee was able to go for a short car ride. She couldn’t believe it, she was so proud of herself!
After this, Dee’s confidence continued to grow at a much quicker pace. A few weeks later, Dee was able to go into town with her support worker and even do a few shopping errands. She began achieving more from this day on, determined to complete her tasks.
10 months on, Dee is now living in her very own flat, meeting new people and making new connections.