An example of how by developing a one-page profile this mother of three has built the confidence to self advocate and direct her own support. Marie started her profile journey after a stay in a woman’s shelter led her to Centrepoint Facilitation for Housing. Her story demonstrates how strength, perseverance and better communication can lead to positive life changes.
Written by Carol Carters
Eva Marie is a single mother with three young children who we met in July 2012. She was staying at a local woman’s shelter with her children and was referred to Centerpoint Facilitation for Housing Support. Eva Marie is 30 years old and likes to go by the name Marie. She has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, and so have two of her children.
The one-page profile was developed with Marie so that I, as her Housing Support Worker, could learn more about her and her family and how best to support them. It was also intended to help Marie share what was important to her in regards to her children and to assist her in being able to see what a wonderful mother and person she is. It was hoped that the one-page profile would give anyone supporting Marie a “snapshot” of who she is and how best to support her as an individual.
In order to develop her profile Marie and I first met to work through what is important to her and her family. Together, we then talked about how Marie would best like to be supported, and what people should do to support her. We met several times in order to develop the profile. During this time Marie was able to find housing and moved into her new home.
The one-page profile helped me and other supports in her life to not only understand her more deeply and support her in the way that she wanted and needed, but it also identified all of Marie’s gifts and strengths. It gave Marie a huge sense of self achievement, helping her to see how she has persevered and how strong and independent she really is. Since the one-page profile was developed with Marie, she has taken pride in being able to advocate for herself and make the community connections that she wanted for herself and her girls.
Soon after her profile was developed, Marie received an eviction notice from her landlord. Marie felt that the eviction notice was unfair and started proceedings to dispute it all on her own. I supported her in this, in the way that her profile specified.
The impact the one-page profile has had on her has been significant in her feeling strong and able to deal with the different challenges that her disability and the disabilities of her children present. Marie and her children are supported in the way that works for them, as people can clearly see what this looks like. When I am away, the backup Housing Support Worker can take a look at Marie’s profile and know how to support her and her family.
Marie is more confident in her own abilities and is able to advocate for herself in many different situations such as her income, her children’s school, and her tenancy.
Read how Helen Sanderson Associates are using person-centred thinking tools with people who are homeless or who need support to find housing here.