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In October 2021, Gary was found living in his tent near to a lake in Leighton Buzzard, after a Streetlink referral was investigated on early morning outreach by the NOAH team.

Gary explained that he had been sleeping rough for 10 days with his dog, due to trauma induced stress. He had gone through childhood sexual abuse and had recently confronted the family members who were accountable. They denied any recognition, causing the family relationship to breakdown. This caused Gary a huge amount of stress and resulted in him not paying rent on his property, and subsequently being evicted.

On top of this, Gary was struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder due to his experiences as an ex-soldier, serving in the Iraq and Afghanistan war. Gary agreed to be referred to Kevin, a Mental Health Outreach Worker. In the meantime, Gary was given a phone to keep in touch and was regularly visited by NOAH whilst the team tried to find a solution for his living situation.

Gary was quite specific about where he could stay, as having his dog with him was extremely important and not many places would take him with a pet.

NOAH contacted Central Bedfordshire Council to try to find a home locally, where he could be offered a self-contained flat. In November, Gary was offered suitable accommodation in Dunstable.

Gary was overjoyed by the news.

On the 26th November, he finally had the keys to his new flat and was all moved in thanks to the support of Kevin from ELFT, who helped take him and his dog to their new home.

Gary was overwhelmed by this all and continued to thank all staff involved.

Names have been changed for confidentiality.
Please note, a stock image has been used.