Here we will publish the real life stories of how the “Off The Streets” fund money is being used to help the homeless and most marginalised people in Preston. For more case studies go to the Project 360 page.
All names have been changed for the purpose of anonymity.
Short success stories*
*Added on November 2016
Frank – applied to the fund to support his move from supported accommodation into his own flat. He had been on the streets prior to this for at least four years. Frank had requested furniture and white goods from other supportive schemes but there were no schemes that helped out with things like carpets or curtains and he felt this was important in helping him take pride and responsibility of his new home. He requested funds to buy a carpet, curtains and aid a Gift 92 application. These were awarded and Frank is now living comfortably in his own home.
Tommy – applied to the fund to purchase new clothing and travel fare to increase his confidence in going into residential detox and rehab. Tommy had put in a claim to another funding stream but this was denied due to the items not being covered under the schemes criteria. Tommy was successful with his application to the fund and went onto residential detox and rehab. Tommy had been homeless at least five years before this.
Alex – Applied to the fund for transport costs to get to an offer of full time employment and end his cycle of homelessness. Alex had been homeless for at least two months during this time. This was awarded and he went on to gain full time employment and accommodation as a result.
Ian – applied to the fund to pay off rent arrears and move into his own accommodation. This was awarded and he moved into his own bedsit that he has maintained since. Ian had been homeless for 15 years intermittently between custodial sentences.
Salim – applied to the fund to support his move from prison into his own private rented flat. A requested funds for the application fee, bond and one month’s rent. This was awarded and Salim moved into his own property. This provided Salim with the stability and motivation to continue to make positive steps going forward. Before this he had been homeless since the 1980s with only prison providing temporary respites.
Oliver – was rough sleeping in Preston for one year before applying to the fund. Rent arrears and an inability to manage in a shared accommodation environment meant there were little options due to his age. Oliver applied to the fund to pay the rent arrears owed to social housing in order for him to bid and gain a one bedroom flat. This was awarded and Oliver was successful in bidding and being granted a social housing one bedroom flat. He is still in this property and has improved his personal living skills as a result.
Matt – was homeless for at least three years. Applied to the fund for one month’s rent and deposit as well as support with furniture. This was awarded and Matt moved into his own one bed flat.
Peter – Applied to the fund for a deposit and two weeks rent for shared accommodation. This was awarded and Peter moved into his shared accommodation immediately.
Dean – applied to the fund as his supported accommodation was coming to an end due to his age. He required a deposit to move into shared accommodation otherwise he would have been made homeless. This was awarded and Dean moved into shared accommodation.
After being released from prison Nigel was staying in a place alongside other people, who were using drugs. Knowing full well himself that it was a dangerous place to stay and that it would be easy to slip into the vicious drug circle, and end up back in prison.
He decided to ask The Foxton Centre staff for help.
We used “Off The Streets” fund money to set up a flat for Nigel. We also provided the necessary furniture as well as fridge and freezer, washing machine and dryer, TV with the TV licence and a Freeview box.
Now Nigel feels safe and says that knowing he has a tenancy has relieved all the stress about his future he had before. “I feel that I have a great foundation to build on and have something that belongs to me.” He also expressed his appreciation by adding: “I’m so grateful, because being given this accommodation has turned things around totally. I have even received support in managing and budgeting in order for me to be able to sustain and keep my tenancy. “
“I wasn’t just put in a flat and left on my own; I’ve had great support, advice and guidance all the way”, he explained.
Nigel is hoping that this opportunity of bettering himself will allow him to enrol on recovery programmes, build family ties and healthy relationships. He also wishes to make the most of it by cherishing what he has been given and taking care of himself.
Being of foreign nationality, Ivan was not eligible to claim any benefits in this country; this man was not entitled to housing benefits, jobseeker’s allowance, employment and support allowance or disability benefits. He had no income.
Ivan had been applying for jobs regularly, hoping to gain accommodation once he began earning wage. Finally, after many attempts to become employed, Ivan received an offer of employment, but unfortunately he was unable to attend the induction and work for the first week, due to not having any funds to travel to the necessary destination as his new job was located several miles from the city centre. The city centre is where Ivan had been sleeping with a group of other people, who were also homeless and rough sleeping. That’s where they all felt safe.
The “Off The Streets” fund provided the man with a bus pass for a week so that he could attend the induction and start his first week of employment in the new workplace.
Ivan is hopeful that he will move into accommodation soon.