Introduction to Wisdom from Behind Closed Doors

Based on our experience of working with people from all backgrounds and providing accommodation in challenging circumstances, we wanted to know about their experiences and how they feel about the services and accommodation they have received. Wisdom from Behind Closed Doors is based on 80+ conversations with people who are housed in temporary or supported accommodation, as well as people who are sleeping rough and sofa-surfing.

People told us that they wanted a home where they could feel safe and secure, where they would receive a warm welcome; where they could just get on with their lives.

People moving into accommodation didn’t want to feel labelled, stigmatised or that they had to prove themselves in order to remain. What they want is to start rebuilding a sense of purpose and value to their lives. People want to stay somewhere with a decent standard of accommodation which supports them to access education or work. People told us that they wanted a place where they can make friends and maintain contact with their family. People want the assurance of knowing what to expect from their landlord, including how long they can stay, and what their responsibilities are within the accommodation. Like any tenant, people want access to a feedback and complaints process when the accommodation is not up to standard or things aren’t going well.

“I did two years in prison and now I’m doing two years here. They say I got sentenced for two years, but in reality it’s four.”