World Homeless Day
Saturday 10 October 2020 marks World Homeless Day. We're supporting the day by sharing some of our tenants stories from our supported housing and homelessness services.
Progress Housing Group is committed to supporting vulnerable people. As part of this commitment, we have developed schemes to help people who are experiencing homelessness in Lancashire.
Tim, 20, has been a tenant at The Bridge (our purpose-built housing scheme for young people who are homeless) since August 2019.
As a teenager, Tim was regularly in trouble with his mum and dad and the police, and eventually, he was taken into the care system. He moved around a lot, living in different areas across the North West before being offered a flat at The Bridge.
Not knowing the Chorley area and not having any family or friends close by, Tim struggled to settle in at first, but he soon started to meet new friends and look after himself with support.
Tim has recently had an assessment for, and subsequent diagnoses of ADHD, the outcome of which is now helping to manage Tim's sometimes challenging behavior. Since moving into The Bridge, Tim has received support for budgeting, debt, and money management.
Tim has lots of energy and needs to keep himself busy to prevent offending. Tim recently secured voluntary work at a charity shop to build up his CV and experience until he can secure paid employment.
After contacting local businesses regarding volunteering opportunities, Tim began volunteering at a nearby charity shop in early 2020. It was initially for five hours a week, but Tim enjoyed working there so much that he started volunteering every day.
Tim's duties include managing stock, collecting stock, and preparing clothes for the shop floor. He has gained experience and skills in many areas, including teamwork, and now has a connection to the community.
His volunteering experience will help him gain paid employment, one of his first goals, before moving into his own flat and, in his own words, "get married in 20 years time! "
Tim says, "I know my behaviour can be challenging due to my ADHD, but I'm learning to manage this better after my assessment. I have a good relationship with the staff at The Bridge, and I'm grateful that I can also talk to and have a laugh with my manager. All the support I've had has helped me get used to living on my own, managing my money better, and paying off some debt.
Sue, Tim's support worker at The Bridge, added, "We are all incredibly proud of Tim. He has shown great commitment to his volunteering work when he was going through so much himself, and it's great that he has been presented with a certificate of appreciation from the charity, recognising his hard work.
"Tim's manager at the charity shop, has played a big part in supporting and encouraging Tim at work. We hope that an employer now recognises what a hard worker Tim is, as he deserves a chance."
Jamie moved to Lancashire with his family when he was a child; his father was set to attend a Lancashire university, so the whole family relocated. As Jamie got older, the relationship between his parents started to deteriorate. Jamie explains, "My mum and dad weren't working out too well, so my dad left the day after my birthday."
Initially, Jamie was told that the separation would only be for a few weeks, but his father never returned. Having just turned 16, Jamie was preparing for his GCSEs. Yet, despite the separation adversely affecting his mental health, he was able to finish his GCSEs and secure an apprenticeship. However, not long after starting his training, his mother told him that she intended to move back home to be closer to her extended family.
With his new job and other ties in the area, Jamie was not keen to go with her. He had a girlfriend, as well as friends that he didn't want to leave. So it was agreed that Jamie would remain in Lancashire once his mother returned home.
While this was what Jamie wanted, no arrangements had been put in place for him once his mother left, meaning Jamie would be homeless. So he starting considering any and all options, even less legitimate ones. A friend's girlfriend came to Jamie's aid, as she had previously found supported accommodation with Progress Housing Group, so advised him to go to the council. Jamie met with John from Key Unlocking Futures, who supported him with a referral to The Bridge and Parker House. Jamie, still 16 at the time, moved into Parker House.
Having never lived on his own before, it was a challenge for Jamie, who quickly learned how to budget and ensure all his bills were paid. Jamie suddenly found himself responsible for many other tasks, like doing his own laundry, shopping, and cooking, things which his parents had done for him before.
The staff at Parker House, Hillary, and Christian were on hand to help Jamie if ever he needed it, and it was something Jamie was definitely grateful for.
While at Parker House, Jamie was also able to develop a positive work ethic. Before that, Jamie struggled to concentrate on his education; Parker House provided a stable home for him. He could focus on his education and give it the attention and dedication that it needed. He even took on a temporary second job in addition to his apprenticeship.
Later, Jamie registered on Select Move, a choice-based lettings allocation scheme, and started bidding on properties. He didn’t have to wait long before being offered a two-bedroom apartment, which he accepted.
On leaving Parker House, Jamie said, “Hillary, Christian, and Saima have been amazing. They kept me on track and were there for me when I needed someone to talk to.” He went on to say that his stay at Parker House “was definitely a big key stepping stone in my life.”
Christian at Parker House said, “Jamie continually worked really hard, applying himself to each opportunity that came his way. He has developed into a resilient, hardworking, and respectful young man with an outstanding work ethic. We wish him well with his future.”
A huge thank you to Tim and Jamie for allowing us to share their stories.
Join in online
On the 10 October 2020, people around the world will mark World Homeless Day and help change the lives of homeless people in their local communities.
For more information, visit www.worldhomelessday.org and follow @HomelessDay and #WorldHomelessDay on Twitter and social media.