Sam’s progress and determination astonishes me. How can someone released after 26 unspeakable years in prison to a town he doesn’t know, with very few prospects, possibly be as resilient and determined as he is? I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be.
Since speaking to him a week ago he’s been for housing advice, he has a housing assessment lined up (please cross your fingers for him) and is pretty certain he’ll be on Skype this next time next week.
Unsurprisingly he’s finding housing pretty hard to navigate and doesn’t understand why the local council doesn’t manage its own housing. And why it’s all online. And why a local connection matters. And why, most importantly for him right now, he can’t go through all this in a part of the country that he actually wants to put down roots in.
It all comes back to housing. Whilst he’s exploring setting up his own business, he needs a permanent address to feel settled. And yet he can’t get one anywhere near where he actually wants without a real income.
I know he’s committed a serious offence. And I know we have systems and processes that are supposed to manage resources fairly, but we also can’t expect to rehabilitate people without the proper support.
In the coming week I’ll be posting some requests from Sam about things he’d like to find out about in relation to starting his removals business and relocating.