Spotlight on Housing Support
Preventing homelessness is a key element of our work, last year The Whitechapel Centre prevented homelessness for 1,447 people. We do this in a number of ways, including drop-in advice sessions, online and phone advice, as well as home visits for people needing more sustained support. For many of the people we help there are underlying issues of substance misuse, mental health, money management or similar which are putting their tenancy at risk. Home visits are also the main way of supporting people resettling into their own accommodation from hostels or temporary accommodation.
We operate a number of surgeries at locations in Liverpool including Langsdale Street, Toxteth Town Hall and Kensington Children’s Centre. Through the surgeries we support people to navigate systems e.g. Welfare Rights, Propertypool Plus applications. For some people we can resolve issues with a one-off or small number of interventions.
We encourage anyone who is concerned about their housing situation to get in touch as soon as possible,.
Mark and his mother Sarah (names changed) presented at one of our drop-in advice sessions. They explained some of the living conditions they were enduring, no running water, no heating and a lot of disrepair. Mark bought the house 30 years ago with some money left to him and has been on benefits due to medical & mental illness so was unable to fund any housing repairs.
We arranged to visit Mark and Sarah at their home. It was upsetting to find the conditions that theywere living in, collapsed floors and ceilings, the bath had completely fallen through to the ground floor. This led to their water supply being cut off for 8 months which also left them with no heating. There was a make shift floor which was made up of planks of wood for them to walk over to access the kitchen area. Neither could go upstairs due to the unsafety of the floors. Sarah was sleeping on a sofa under a bay window which had previously collapsed on her whilst sleeping.
We immediately contacted adult social care, environmental health and the fire service for help and advice. Within the week we arranged for Mark and Sarah to view a sheltered accommodation which they were happy to accept. We supported them throughout their move, arranging new furnishings and helping them to settle in.
Mark and Sarah are now living happily, comfortable in their new home with beautiful surroundings. They have sold their old house.
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