A Plymouth man who lost his home and spent months sleeping in a dilapidated shed has found his ‘forever’ home thanks to BCHA.

Brian Hodge, 57, experienced homelessness after a relationship breakdown and spent several months living in an abandoned shed without windows or a door.

He said: “I felt a total failure and was at rock bottom.”

Luckily, Brian was helped by the homelessness support charity Shekinah and in June 2023 was offered a room at BCHA’s Winston Avenue supported accommodation.

South-West based charitable housing association BCHA, is a major provider of a diverse range of housing, support and learning services for socially excluded people.

Its Winston Avenue accommodation is a beacon of hope for single people experiencing homelessness, offering nine bedrooms, round the clock support, including twice daily welfare checks, individual support, and help to find suitable, long-term accommodation.

Brian Hodge at the front door of his own one-bedroom flat, which he secured with the help of BCHA
Brian Hodge at the front door of his own one-bedroom flat, which he secured with the help of BCHA

Under the compassionate guidance of BCHA complex needs support workers, Martin Jump and Maisie Buckingham, Brian began rebuilding his life.

He said: “They helped me get the benefits I did not know I was entitled to and address debt that I had ignored for years.

“I was also supported by the team to get hearing aids after being hard of hearing all my life and to access support for my diabetes.”

Brian was also supported in maximising his income and improving his physical and mental health – valuable tools to help him transition towards independent living.

With the assistance of BCHA, Brian was nominated for the 'Ten Homes Scheme' in Plymouth, a collaborative initiative providing stable housing and ongoing support for single people experiencing homelessness.

This paved the way for him to secure a one-bedroom social housing flat in Plymouth - and to reclaim his independence.

Brian said: “In March I received the keys to my very own council flat, which is a million miles away from living in a shed.

“Not only did BCHA give me a room, but they also believed in me.

“I owe two very special people my life, Maisie and Martin, as without them I do not believe I would be where I am today.

“I will always be grateful to both and cannot thank them enough for all their hard work and dedication. They will both always have a very special place in my heart.”

Martin and Maisie are full of praise for Brian's resilience.

Martin said: “When Brian moved into our accommodation, he felt hopeless and like there was no way out of his current situation.

“He engaged brilliantly with us to address the issues he was experiencing at that time and slowly started to see the progress he was making.”

Maisie added: “We are delighted that we were able to support Brian into his own home and can't wait to see the progress he will continue to make.”


For more details, read how BCHA supports people experiencing homelessness.


For media inquiries, please contact: communications@bcha.org.uk

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