In July,  Aimee, our Resettlement Worker, was able to house someone experiencing homelessness. This is doubly impressive as she has done this despite the challenges posed by COVID19 and in her first month back from maternity leave. Our outreach team first met this man when he was rough sleeping on Market Street in May during the peak of the Lockdown. Our support team were able to house him in temporary accommodation in the city.

Aimee first met this man when he was staying in a shelter in North Manchester. Despite being ready for a tenancy of his own he was with his dog which made housing him more difficult because many private landlords will not accept pets. However, Aimee was able to find accommodation for this man and his dog, this was really important to this man as his dog had been a constant companion through the troubles he had experienced in his life earlier this year. This man is now excelling at independent living and his short time on the streets is now far behind him with a bright future ahead of him.

A big part of the role of resettlement worker is monitoring those we have housed to ensure that they are succeeding at independent living. This would normally be a visit to the person’s home to have a catch over a cup of tea. This year has obviously been different;  Aimee now brings a camping chair of hers so she can sit down with our friends in their garden to discuss how they are doing both with their mental and physical health, but also financially and with their progress finding work and building friendships within their local community.

Aimee has had plenty of new barriers introduced by COVID19 beyond social distancing. For example Job centres that she would normally visit with our friends to ensure their benefits are being managed correctly and to arrange for the automatic payment of rent and bills. This has now had to be done remotely.

For example, before the pandemic she would accompany tenants to the Job Centre to ensure that their benefits are being managed correctly and to arrange for the automatic payment or rent and bills. Now this has to be done remotely and it means that the person she is supporting may find access to services more difficult.

Aimee has also been visiting the hotels and temporary accommodation in Manchester that have been used to house people experiencing homelessness over the pandemic. She is doing this to gain an insight into what the people she is helping into accommodation have been through recently and also to meet with some people she will potentially help move on into homes of their own.

Despite the challenges caused by COVID19 we are thankful that we are still able to help people move away from the streets for good. Homelessness is sadly a problem that isn’t easily solved just through housing and many of our friends require months of help after being housed to ensure that they are succeeding at independent living and will not end up becoming homeless again.  Continuing to support our friends in their own tenancies in safe way is so important  To ensure that people are not only safe, but not at risk of losing their homes through new working practices.