Further to the official opening of Henderson House, the development of 10 supported living flats in South Norwood, one of the residents was able to tell his story to the local press.
Stephen Evans is a 58 years old man with a history of self-neglect, alcoholism and associated health concerns. After a period of homelessness, he was moved to a hostel and then spent six months in a Care Home for the elderly. As he explained, this was all far from ideal:
“At the hostel, somebody stole my dentures – which is unbelievable really! And then in the care home, all the other residents were much older than me and many of them had dementia. In fact, four people passed away during the short time I was there. So it was a very lonely place for me as I didn’t have anyone to talk to. Plus, whilst I had my own room, I had very little independence as I had to fit in with the mealtimes of the home. I couldn’t even cook myself a bit of tea,”
A brighter future
But in July 2019, qualified chef Stephen moved to a one bedroom flat in newly developed Henderson House. He receives support with his daily medication and assistance with day to day living activities such as attending medical appointments, managing his finances and correspondence, and ensuring that he eats healthily. But otherwise he lives independently. And he couldn’t be happier:
“I now have my own roof over my head and I know I’m not going to be moved on. It’s safe and secure here.
“I have a friend who I can walk to see and I can wander down to the communal area to mix with the staff and other residents for a chat. And sometimes a cup of tea and a biscuit! So I feel much happier and less isolated.
“I really like that I can cook for myself. It’s easy to pop to the high street to pick up a bit of steak or whatever for my tea. And the staff have arranged for me to see a local dentist so I’m even getting new teeth!”
Happy ever after?
In addition to having his story in the Croydon Advertiser, Stephen has also appeared in two stories online. They are available here and here. He has also spoken with a national newspaper journalist who is looking at what happens to people when they become homeless. Stephen hopes that his media profile will enable him to re-establish contact with his brothers Ashley John and David Roy Evans.