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Alex's Story: Ron Jones House

The impact of domestic abuse on mental health is severe and long-lasting. It is estimated that 1-6 men will be a victim of domestic abuse in their lifetime, and even more distressingly, over the pandemic period, charity ManKind saw an increase of calls to its helpline by one quarter and visits to its website by 75%.

Alex (name has been changed to respect anonymity) first sought support after fleeing domestic abuse from his then partner and mother to his young child. Following 9 months of increasing violence from his partner, Alex made the difficult decision to leave the family home following advice and support from Bristol City Council and family. Alex was able to be placed into emergency housing for 3 nights before moving into Ron Jone House for continued support. 

Alex was able to stay in employment throughout this but was still paying rent towards his former flat as he didn’t want to risk his child becoming homeless. The cost of supporting two homes unfortunately caught up with him and led to arrears.

Elim team member Andy worked with Alex and other support agencies to create a support plan to help reduce his debt. Although Alex engaged fully in support sessions, his arrears were still a barrier even though they were reducing. Elim applied for a grant from the Vicars Relief Fund, who allocated him £500 that enabled him to be eligible for a permanent 2 bedroom flat and Alex was able to move into his new home shortly afterwards.

Securing his own home meant that Alex could have overnight access to his child, something that was really important to him. Alex continues to work hard to reduce his arrears and achieving his own aspirations and goals for the future.

If you’re feeling controlled, unable to make your own decisions, scared, intimidated or threatened by your partner or a family member, you’re being abused. Your relationship doesn’t have to be physically violent to be abusive. If you are experiencing domestic violence and would like to speak to someone, Mankind offer a confidential helpline on 01823 334244. The helpline is a listening service which provides emotional support, practical information and signposting.

Ron Jones House is located in central Bristol and houses men aged 22+ who are either experiencing or are at risk of homelessness. Residents are allocated a Support Worker and develop a personalised support plan, enabling them to progress towards more independent living in the future. Residents at Ron Jones usually stay around 9 months, although this may change depending on the resident’s circumstances. Referrals to Ron Jones House are made by Bristol City Council’s Housing Support Register. To find out more, call the Ron Jones Team on 0117 942 5500.

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