The Halcrow Foundation has been funding homeless projects through a charity called Streets2Homes. The Charity supports people living on the streets and those at risk of losing their homes in Harlow and the surrounding towns, by helping them access permanent accommodation and part-time refuge.
Through its support of Streets2Homes, the Halcrow Foundation has so far helped house 22 people and made a lasting difference to many Streets2Homes clients, who otherwise would have no other means to access accommodation.
Streets2Homes Manager Kerrie Eastman explains the impact this funding has on the charity and the people it supports:
“One client had been homeless for two years since leaving prison. We helped get him into accommodation. He has not reoffended since and has managed to turn his life around. He now spends his money on making his room a home and is concentrating on getting a job. He has broken away from his previous friends and lifestyle and his confidence and self-esteem have increased immensely.
“Another client had been sofa surfing for eight years, since he was 16. He has now managed to turn his life around and has settled into his accommodation. He has maintained the tenancy since January 2015 and has glowing reports from his landlord.
“We have also assisted a female client, helping her move into safe accommodation after suffering years of abuse from her partner and losing custody of her children . She has grown in confidence and became a volunteer with Streets2Homes. She has now moved into paid employment, repaid the loan and moved on from a room to a flat. She has a new partner and is in contact with her children again.”
The Halcrow Foundation funding has helped the charity with specific support services, including:
The service helps to provide adequate nutrition to maintain the wellbeing of homeless people by offering individuals a cooked breakfast and at least one hot meal when centre is open, and food parcels when it isn’t.
Deposit guarantee scheme
The scheme helps to secure accommodation for those wanting to leave the streets, but can’t afford the deposit that landlords require. Once housed, the homed person repays the deposit at a rate they can afford (minimum £20 per month) thereby providing a self-sustaining project. Streets2Homes guarantee the initial deposit to secure accommodation and supply tenancy support, which makes landlords more willing to let their properties.
The provision of accommodation provides access to housing, welfare and unemployment benefits, which enables individuals to pay the rent and repay the deposit.
Streets2Homes provides more than just tenancy support. They give advice and support on benefits, jobs, education, literacy and numeracy skills, emotional support and pastoral care. Most importantly they work with individuals to help them avoid debt and manage finances. They provide as much support as needed to ensure people remain in accommodation. Once an individual is a user of Streets2Homes they become part of the family. No one is left to struggle in such a way that they might lose their accommodation before intervention occurs. Many of those who have been helped and supported by Streets2Homes return as volunteers.
In 2014, Streets2Homes:
- Assessed 364 new clients
- Accommodated 99 people in the private rented sector
- Successfully referred 25 clients to supported accommodation projects
- Successful referred 16 clients to night shelters as part of a pathway plan into settled accommodation
- Housed two clients through the local authority
- Prevented 158 people from becoming homeless through interventions.
- Supported and helped over 40 individuals into employment and many more into volunteering roles.
To find out more visit the Streets2homes website.