When Harley*, aged 25, moved into Arlington in December 2013, he had dropped out of college, was recovering from a broken leg and was battling with various mental health issues.

He was referred to Arlington for support by a crisis recovery centre via Camden Council, after taking a drug overdose and losing his home due to the personal pressures he was facing.

Six months on, Harley has now moved into semi-independent accommodation at Cambria House, is studying on an arts course at City Lit and getting back on track with his life.

“I had never lived in a hostel before so this was all very new to me.

It all started while I was at college. I broke my leg and started to get really stressed about how much catching up I had to do with my studies because of my absence. I began to have a mental breakdown and ended up overdosing on pills.

I became homeless due to my mental health issues and got referred to Arlington by a crisis recovery centre. I lived at Arlington for three months before moving on to Cambria House, which is a move-on hostel. The support I’ve received from Arlington with the move has been really good. My key worker was always checking that I was OK and even came with me to view Cambria House to make sure I was happy with it.

I am also back in college now and feeling really positive about it. I am currently studying an Arts Foundation course at City Lit and am planning to apply to university next year to continue studying art and design. Louise, the employment and training advisor at Arlington has been excellent. She helped me to find information about art workshops and apply for bursaries I would never have known existed. I am back in education thanks to her.

The counselling service at Arlington has helped me a lot too. Even though I don’t live at Arlington anymore I’m still able to come back and use the service. It’s good to be able to come back and have someone to talk to.

I really feel like I’m getting my life back and taking further steps towards independence. Arlington has helped me to stand on my own two feet again.”

*Not resident’s real name.