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Formerly homeless man offered a home at last

We had an urgent request for help for a young man who found himself homeless and living on the streets following issues at home.  He had been living in a hostel until suitable and affordable accommodation could be found for him.  When these come up it is often necessary to move very fast otherwise the opportunity is lost, and he would be back to waiting again.  He heard that a property had become available but he would need to be able to afford the first weeks rent as a deposit and be able to pay that within days.  He is currently in receipt of job seekers allowance, and will be able to claim housing benefit to pay the rent going forward.  He is very keen to get off benefits and back into employment.  We agreed to help him with his first rental payment of £81.88, so we could be certain he would be housed.

Tags : benefits housing homelessness rent deposits JSA

We are featured in today's issue of The Guardian newspaper

Today we were featured in an article written by Frances Ryan in The Guardian newspaper, which you can read here.  We are overwhelmed by the level of support from individuals that have stepped up to offer a donation to the fund, or to apply to become regular supporters.  We are a group of volunteers that fit in what we do around the other stuff in our lives, such as families, our health, work, etc. so as such it is going to take us a while to be able to respond to you all.  Rest assured we will do this because we know first hand how tough it is and how even the smallest amount can begin to make a difference in another person's life.  We pride ourselves on our ability to act as quickly as possible.

Some people have been asking on the article if they can donate via another route other than Paypal.  You can, by instructing your bank to make a direct payment to our bank. 

Our details are as follows:  Lloyds Bank plc, Sort code: 30-98-41 and Account Number:  72674060

If you would like to donate via Gift Aid, then please email: giftaid@biscuitfund.org

Once again, a big thank you to you all.  With your donations we are going to be able to help so many more people in dire situations over the coming months.

Tags : TheGuardian donations helpatChristmas UniversalCredit DWP Benefits FamiliesatCrisispoint homelessness nofood nomoney

Woman struggling to stay in her home

We were approached to help a woman who following a relationship breakdown found herself homeless.  She also had recently lost her expected baby which had had a huge impact on her mental health.  She was taken in and supported by a refuge then finally a flat was found for her to move into.  Her benefits payments have been impacted resulting in her not receiving her payments one month, which caused her to fall into arrears with her rent.  Our agents are helping her to apply for a discretionary housing payment and to get her rent arrears sorted.  We agreed that we would send her £30 as a moral boost and to allow her to get some groceries in.

Tags : Benefits refuge homeless rentarrears debts

House infested with bugs

In this case our client is a woman who has left an abusive relationship.  She accepted a housing association property and found out after she'd moved in that the flat was infested with bed bugs. She tried to get the housing association to help her but for some reason they refused to help, stating the issue was hers to resolve.  She borrowed £500 from her family to purchase replacement furniture and the cost of having the flat fumigated.  So far she has repaid half of what is owed, however her family are insisting that she repay the loan with half the benefits she has to live off.  This is leaving her in a situation where she is unable to afford food to eat or to be able to cover her bills.  She currently has the added stress of being on Job Seekers Allowance, having lost her Employment Support Allowance.  Our agents are helping her to get back on to ESA as the stress is seriously impacting her mental health.  We agreed between us that we would send her £50 to help her out in the interim.

Tags : JSA Benefits debts family bedbugs infestation

Lady struggling to find employment

We were asked to consider helping a lady who is really struggling to stay afloat.  She was working, but the place she was working at closed down and the difficulties in finding a new job are really getting to her, knocking her confidence and self-belief.  Her husband does work, but it is very low paid, and one of their children is in and out of psychiatric care which is causing her added stress.  Between us we agreed to offer her £50 and someone close to her was going to take her shopping to buy some food.  She is a very proud person , and we knew that if we offered the money directly to her she would refuse the help.

Tags : unemployment nomoney nofood

Family fleeing domestic violence

Our agents are an organisation that works directly with homeless people, and the case they brought to us this time, is of a mother and two children, 14 and 8 years old.  They had fled to the city, away from a domestic violence situation and had arrived with nothing but the clothes and belongings they were able to take with them.  The support worker had managed to get them into emergency accommodation and finally into temporary accommodation in the city.  She has arranged via local organisations to get them some furniture, such as beds and a sofa and a box of items for the kitchen, but they don't have access to a fridge or a cooker, and are currently keeping food chilled in a bowl of cold water.  We agreed to send them £80 to use as they see fit, to buy food or put towards getting a second-hand cooker or fridge.  We also referred them on to one of the bigger charities that do take longer to give an answer, but they do offer larger amounts of money than we are able to.

Tags : domesticviolence familieswithouthomes emergencyaccommodation

Staying connected

Our case was a request to help a man who has formerly been street homeless.  He is housed now, and his rent is paid directly to his landlord via housing benefit, but he is struggling to survive on £190 a month benefits, which has to cover the shortfall in his council tax payments, his bills, energy costs and food.  His phone contract is in arrears and he is becoming increasingly anxious about losing the ability to use his phone, which could have serious implications for his Universal Credit claim.  We agreed to help him out by sending him £50 to use towards his phone and bills.

Tags : UniversalCredit MobilePhones Bills Homelessness

Couple struggling to stay afloat

One of our regular agencies contacted us today about a couple they have been trying to help.  They are in receipt of joint Employment Support Allowance, but because they have a two bedroomed property they are liable for bedroom tax.  They had previously been badly advised about their liability towards this second bedroom which has resulted in them now having to pay almost £40 a week for the bedroom tax and to cover some arrears that had amounted because of this bad advice.  They are also under threat of eviction, which is causing them a great deal of stress.  Our agents are helping them to fight this second bedroom situation, applied on their behalf for carers allowance  and assisting them regarding the eviction notice.  We were asked to help them out a bit, just to let them see that not everything is turning to something bad.  We agreed to send them £100 to help them out with bills, as they are especially worried about not being able to keep their phone connected so they can continue to receive help and support via the phone.

Tags : ESA BedroomTax Arrears Debts EvictionNotice

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