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Caolan's Story

Caolan's Story

Caolan left home when he was 18 without anywhere permanent to live, he spent the next two years sofa surfing at friends or family’s homes. After moving into his own place, Caolan’s home was broken into on numerous occasions, including two times when he was in the house which contributed towards serious challenges with mental health.

Caolan felt he was not able to trust anyone, and his confidence was shattered, resulting in severe social anxiety, and signing into a mental health clinic. Caolan was there for 6 weeks before leaving with only the clothes he was wearing and relocated to one of our hostels.

Struggling to socialise and make friends resulted in Caolan spending more time alone in his room. To support his growing anxiety he began using alcohol, medication and cannabis more frequently. Our Support Workers identified this and Caolan became one of the first individuals to access the newly created Homelessness Wellbeing Programme, part funded by the National Lottery Community Fund NI. Working with his Wellbeing Practitioner, Adam, trust was established with Caolan before eventually exploring interests and passions.

Adam introduced nature walks and cookery as ways to develop a trusting relationship. Over time, Caolan’s confidence grew as he felt more secure leaving the project and getting to know his local surroundings Adam’s work also meant that Caolan became better aware of his anxiety triggers and worked on ways to reduce these sensations.

Caolan is now beginning to feel secure within himself alongside developing confidence within social environments. He can begin to look to the future - he is searching for work, volunteers for a dog rehoming charity, and is now thinking about moving back home to family.

I am thankful for a second chance. Life prior to living within Simon Community provided no visions for my future. I now have plans and recognise the direction I want my life to take. The support I have been given has enabled me to look towards my future and provide me with the tools to live life securely and with independence.


At Simon Community we also recognise the importance of our client’s mental health. Our Homelessness Wellbeing Team provide vital support to all those in our accommodation who have complex needs. Please help us to continue helping people like Caolan, Donate Now.