Imagine you are trapped in poverty and homelessness, unable to find a home you can afford on universal credit, unable to find a job with no fixed address. You become trapped in temporary accommodation searching and hoping for an understanding employer or landlord to accept you. Unable to improve your situation no matter what you tried.

This was the situation facing Sarah. She was illegally evicted by her landlord but didn’t know her rights and moved out. Sarah spent several months’ sofa surfing across Manchester where she had to give up her job as she couldn’t make it there on time whilst staying at a friends on the other side of the city. She eventually ran out of friends and family and found herself lost with nowhere to go. In Spring she spent her first night on the streets.

Sarah spent many nights living on the streets with nowhere to wash, put her few possessions or even get fresh underwear before she was introduced to Barnabus. Here we could help with her basic needs and begin to build a plan with her to get her off the streets. We helped her into some temporary accommodation connected her with local services.

Sadly Sarah’s troubles had just begun. She found that she had fallen into a trap where she is under 35 so she receives just £327.16 each month from universal credit towards her rent. There are few single bed flats in Greater Manchester which offer rent for under £600. This puts people like Sarah in an impossible position where they struggle to find places that they can afford to rent whilst claiming universal credit. But also struggle to find work when living in temporary accommodation and lacking a fixed address.

To combat this Barnabus has begun to offer its own supported rented accommodation which is affordable and high quality. This allows us to offer people like Sarah the chance to move out of homelessness, back into a home and then support them to move on to their own private rented homes.

Sarah moved into a flat that Barnabus manages this summer. The first time in a year she has had a bed, a private kitchen, bathroom and a sofa that hers and hers alone. The first time in a year she can breathe a sigh of relief.

We know that homelessness is never solved by simply giving someone a home. If people are not supported to address the root cause of why they became homeless they will likely become homeless again. We supported Sarah as she moved in, we helped her to set up her bills and register with a local GP. Most importantly for Sarah we helped her to find a job with a company we work closely with enabling her to have a steady secure income and to save money for a move into a home of her choosing.

Sarah was stuck in a horrible position which had her trapped in homelessness despite trying everything to escape it. Her life was on hold as she was consumed by the struggle to get out of homelessness. We hope that she will soon be ready to move on to her own privately rented accommodation and a bright future.

If you would like to support Sarah and people like her on their journey off the streets please set up a monthly donation or one off gift to ensure that we can continue to support people.

Please select a donation amount (required)
Set up a regular payment Donate