May 10, 2018
Today we were asked to help a mum, mother of two children, one in her late teens who has a learning disability and a nine year old. She is in debt, which is aggravating her anxiety and depression as she feels she can't see any way out. She is having problems with her payments and is currently without any money, due to her rent payments being over the threshold for housing benefit so she has to find the shortfall somehow, which she is struggling to do. She is not due another benefits payment until the end of this month and currently is without money for food, etc. We agreed to send her £100 to last her until her next benefits payment. Our agents are going to support her with budgeting and applying for a discretionary housing payment.
Apr 3, 2018
In this case we have a mother of four adult children. After deductions from her benefits because she has four adults living with her, she is left with not enough to live off and cover their bills. One adult child works and helps her out, two others are in receipt of benefits themselves and give her a small amount each week. The youngest has mental health issues and is struggling to claim benefits for themself, so that they could offer some contribution to the household budget. The mother has been getting increasingly into debt, and has been advised to submit an application for a debt relief order, which she needed help in applying for. We agreed to pay the £90 fee.
Nov 9, 2017
Our agents contacted us about a young man in his twenties. He has been having difficulties with claiming Universal Credit which has left him £1,000 in arrears. He is due in court later this month to deal with this. To try to save up so he can clear some of the arrears, he has been managing without using any of his gas throughout the summer months. This though has left him with a service charge debt, resulting in his gas being capped. As it is now getting quite cold he is struggling without any heating, but they won't remove the cap without him clearing the debt of £65, which we agreed to pay on his behalf.
Jul 28, 2017
Our agent contacted us about a woman who frustrated with the lack of support in her area took it upon herself to fight her alcohol addiction. Doing this on her own meant that she missed an appointment with the Job Centre so they sanctioned her. This meant that her rent and council tax support also stopped being paid, the result of which is that she now faces eviction due to arrears of £320. As she was so ill due to the alcohol detoxing she was unable to seek support until now. Our agent has intervened on her behalf and sought assurance that if £200 could be raised would she be certain of being able to remain in her home. They will try to get some help with the rest from the council as it should have been possible for her to submit a nil income form to the council and have her rent and council tax covered, which would have prevented the arrears. We agreed to send over the money needed to allow her to keep her home. We didn't want to have her back out on the streets again, where it would be highly likely she'd be tempted by alcohol again, given how hard she has worked so far to get herself off it.
Jan 26, 2017
We were told of a couple, who'd recently had to move home after they had been subject to being stalked. Since moving, the wife had been fortunate enough to find work but the work was very intermittent. Her husband is disabled and unable to work, and because his wife is working he is unable to claim any out of work benefits to help them. Following the move of home they'd fallen into arrears with their rent. An agency are helping the husband apply for Personal Independence Payment, and would also see if it might be possible for them to apply for a discretionary housing payment (these though are very hard to be awarded, and looked at on a case by case basis by the local authority.) We agreed as a group to arrange for £100 to be sent to the couple to help relieve some of the worry regarding the arrears.
It is not just people that aren't working that are struggling financially, it is also those in employment, but where their hours of work are not regular enough for them to make any plans, rely on them or even meet their basic living requirements.
Jan 15, 2017
Our agent contacted us with an urgent case of a man currently in a homeless shelter. He has an injury which makes walking difficult, but even so was at risk of being evicted as he had a debt owing for rent from last May. He'd already had three warnings over this, and 28 days notice to quit. We agreed to cover the cost of this to prevent him being evicted out into the cold again, especially with an infected foot. The money was paid directly to our agent for safeguarding until the debt could be cleared early next week. The shelter were so impressed that we were able to step in and resolve this problem so quickly.