To find out what a difference your donation will make, read our client stories.
Client A was a woman aged 50 who arrived at our offices one morning with all her possessions in two suitcases. She had been living in a garage in Bristol for 6 months but had then come to Leicester. She had been staying with a friend in Leicester for 4 months, but her friend’s son had returned home and there was no longer room for her. She had literally nowhere to go. SHARP found some immediate accommodation where Joyce could stay that night. Working in conjunction with another local charity SHARP then organised for this temporary arrangement to be extended. Simultaneously SHARP contacted a local housing association and made a referral. Our contact at the housing association had a bedsit on the second floor in a block of flats available. SHARP helped Client A to collect all the documentation needed by the Housing Association and arranged for her to view the property. By doing this, we were able to secure the accommodation for her and prevent her from becoming homeless again.
We received an enquiry from a social worker who wanted housing support for her client Client B who was living in a hostel and was expecting a baby. Due to past serious anti-social behaviour problems and high rent arrears with Leicester City Council, due to excessive drug and alcohol use, Client B was banned from applying for housing for 5 years. She had also had her 5 other children taken into care by Social Services. Social Services wanted to give Client B a last chance and asked the Family Court to consider allowing her to keep the baby once it was born as their client was no longer on drugs and alcohol.
Once the baby was born, and placed with temporary foster carers, SHARP was asked to attend the Family Court to give an account of how we would help with future housing, which we did. SHARP stated it would help her clear her arrears, look for private rented accommodation and provide help with the deposit. The Family Court was satisfied with this explanation of the help that SHARP was able to offer. SHARP helped to clear most of the arrears which had arisen due to a Housing Benefit error and managed to secure a private rented property for the client with all of the deposit paid.
Client B now has her baby with her and lives in her own one bedroomed flat.
Client C was a 90 year old man, who lived on his own in a property owned by a relative.
The relative wanted to sell the property and with the proceeds of the sale fund a new lifestyle abroad. This left the client in a very distressed and confused state, as this has been his home for over 30 years. The property was in a very poor state of repair with no heating upstairs and just two gas fires downstairs. The hot water was heated by a small immersion heater in the kitchen, the windows did not close properly, and the flooring was thin and cold.
The relative was causing lots of problems and, under the influence of alcohol, also started to harass Client C and started to make physical threats to Client C as the relative thought Client C was deliberately refusing to move from the property.
Client C approached SHARP for help. After the initial interview it was found that Client C needed help with not only re-housing, but help with his poor physical health, memory loss and anxiety and depression. Client C was eventually re-housed in semi-supported accommodation with the appropriate external agencies to support him in his new accommodation.
Client D sought SHARP’s advice and support as she was living with her two young children in a 1-bedroom flat where she did not feel safe due to other residents’ anti-social behaviour and harassment. Client D’s environment had a significant impact on her mental health and day-to-day life. Caseworker Mara, and Mental Health Support Worker Shannon, supported Client D by appealing the banding she hand been placed in. The outcome was successful and she was placed in Band 1.
Shannon worked with Client D on a weekly basis during the appeal and afterward, with 1:1 Recovery Support; to listen, identify her strengths, and to set goals to build her ‘well-being toolbox’ by utilising a set of coping strategies she can draw from to cope during the bidding process and for the future. One of Client D’s goals was to build her confidence and by the end of support apply for a college course in Counselling to develop her skills further and use her own mental health experience to help others.
In 2019 we were awarded a 5-year grant by the National Lottery Community Fund. This was to pay for 1 full-time Caseworker and 1 full-time Volunteer Coordinator.
In 2021 we received funding from Carlton Hayes Charitable Trust to pay for a Mental Health Support Worker.
We are therefore appealing for donors to help us to prevent people from becoming homeless and to help those who are homeless to rapidly find another home.