Apr 20, 2018
We were asked to help a single man in his 40s who has been a victim of domestic violence, which he feels very embarrassed and very vulnerable about as a result. He left with nothing but the clothes he was wearing, the police and social services were involved, yet his ex partner destroyed all his clothes and belongings leaving him with only what he stood up in. He has secured a small flat which he is renting, but it is unfurnished and his benefits do not stretch to cover being able to purchase what he needs. He is currently in receipt of benefits because he has degenerative disc issues which means he is unable to work. He wants to be able to have his children visit him, but he has nowhere for them to sit, nor is able to prepare any food. We have signposted our agents to places in his area he can source preloved and donated items and sent across to him £80 so that he can use that money to buy some of the bits and pieces he needs. Hopefully he will be able to get hold of some bigger items from places that help the vulnerable with household items, as well as other places like Freecycle.
Apr 9, 2018
This case just goes to show that people from all walks of life are affected when they find themselves in a situation where they are unable to work any longer and become reliant on the benefits system. Our client here is an academic, who found himself in a situation where his previous social housing home, was expensive to heat and had a vermin problem that was proving impossible to resolve. He decided to move home and went to a new area and a new housing association property, which he does get some help paying for via housing benefit. He is currently in receipt of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA). He has been 'invited' to apply for Personal Indpendence Payments (PIP), which will replace the DLA, but this is not as easy to do as it might seem, as many applicants having been on DLA for some years frequently find themselves refused PIP and are faced with tribunals to try to get the decision overturned. Often the wait time to get a refusal overturned if it goes beyond the mandatory reconsideration stage, and ends up at tribunal can take almost a year to resolve.
This man is struggling to keep his head above water financially, as his benefits payments aren't stretching far enough. He is currently without a bed, so sleeps on the floor, doesn't have a cooker, so cooks on a camping stove. There is no furniture, nor any carpets in his home. He chooses between heating his home and eating, it is that much of a hand to mouth existence. He visits the food bank when he is able to, but still isn't coping too well, and the lack of decent nutrition is impacting his physical and mental health negatively.
Our agents are assisting him with the transition from DLA to PIP, as if these payments stop then he will be in even more trouble financially. They are helping him to apply for a grant to obtain some carpeting or floor coverings for his house, so he isn't sleeping on a concrete floor. Local to him furniture banks will be able to supply some second hand or used items, and we agreed to send him £120 to help him purchase items of his own choice, as well as some food.
Jan 16, 2018
Our client is a young man who has been street homeless for sometime. He has now been offered a permanent place of his own, but obviously has nothing to his name in terms of furniture or white goods. Our agents have applied to his local council for a welfare grant and they have supplied a fridge, kettle and a toaster. A cooker and a washing machine have been applied to one grant for, and for a freezer to another grant. This means he still needs a bed and a chair or sofa of some kind and we were asked to help with this. We agreed to send him £100 so that he can access his local Emmamus to get both of these from them second hand. Any left over money can be used to purchase some bedding.
Jan 8, 2018
It was an urgent request we received to help a man who has been long term homeless. He has been offered a home to move into but has absolutely no furniture whatsoever. Our agents have applied to the emergency fund with his local council to help purchase some items, but they wanted to know if we could help with some money to get him started. He is in receipt of ESA and PIP but has no spare money to purchase anything. We agreed to send him £100 and hopefully with that and the support of our agents he will be able to pick up some low cost items second hand on local selling sites.
Dec 22, 2017
Our contact today came from a homeless agency, where they have been supporting two individuals leave the homeless hostel they have been staying in, out into places of their own. The places came up at short notice and they had to accept them there and then otherwise they risked losing the opportunity. This meant them moving out with no furniture at all, and both of them needed a bed or a mattress at least to sleep on. We agreed we would send £100 to each of the men so that they could use the money to source something local to them.
Nov 23, 2017
We were contacted by our agents asking for help for their client, a man who has been homeless for quite some time. He has been sofa surfing, a hidden kind of homelessness, where you rely on people being able to allow you to sleep on their sofa for a night here and there. This level of uncertainty is quite unsettling for a person. He has finally been offered a flat, but has nothing to go into it in terms of furniture, crockery, small appliances. Our agents have been able to source some of these items for him, but asked for a small amount of help with this. He also hopes to set up a room for his teenaged daughter when he can. We offered to send over £50 to them to spend on his behalf.
Nov 10, 2017
A homeless support centre contacted us to ask for help for a young woman they are helping. She has finally been offered accommodation, having been homeless. Although she is signing for the keys, she has no belongings, and certainly not any furniture. The charity had put a call out for used items that could be gifted to help her, such as a fridge, etc. We agreed between us we would pay £75 to the charity, for them to use on her behalf to pay for some second hand items she still needs but isn't gifted.
Jul 28, 2017
These particular agents of ours help people move into accommodation where they have been long term homeless and would struggle with the transition of living alone. He had been living in very temporary accommodation for a long time and never really had a home of his own before. Finally suitable accommodation was found but did not have any furniture or anything else for that matter to move into it. Our agents managed to get a home starter pack from the local council, but they were unable to arrange for an oven for him. The young man is keen to get settled and begin a new healthier life, hoping to start a career with the railways. We managed to find a decent basic oven, and including delivery and fitting came to under £200. He should be having his new oven fitted very soon.
Mar 10, 2017
We were approached about a lady who was street homeless, with breast cancer, which had unfortunately spread to her lymphnodes. The hospital were unable to treat her while she was homeless, so her local council have been pressured into providing her with adequate housing. It is only a small place, which has to be self contained and kept spotlessly clean as once she begins treatment her immune system will be obliterated and she'll be at risk to catching infections.
All she had with her was a supermarket bag for life, containing her few belongings. Her travel costs had already been covered by a sponsor, but we sent across £150, so that she could buy a bed and mattress, a small chest of drawers and some cooking pots.