The London Housing Foundation is supporting the work of the Hope Worldwide UK – in particular their ‘Two Step’ project that works with single homeless people to access the private rented sector for housing. We asked them to tell us about one of their clients.
Reza was referred to HOPE worldwide by a central London day centre at the beginning of June, having been rough sleeping since February 2017. Prior to this he had been living and working as a mechanical engineer outside of the UK for just over a year.
He had to return to the UK as his employer had refused to pay him. Despite being a British citizen, this meant that he had to wait three months before being able to claim any benefits.
With no friends or family to rely on in the UK, Reza quickly found himself sleeping rough, with no access to financial support or housing. Unable to access benefits, and not eligible for council housing support, he had no choice but to continue rough sleeping until the three months had past. Finding himself in such a difficult and unexpected situation, Reza was eager to get to a point where he could start to move on with his life.
Reza was found eligible for Employment and Support Allowance in May 2017 – this also meant he could now apply for Housing Benefit so he was referred to HOPE worldwide.
In the short space of just 10 days, the ‘Two Step’ team were able to assess Reza’s needs, give him 3 hours of interactive tenancy training, help him find suitable accommodation and support him to apply for housing benefits in order to pay his rent. The team have continued to support him to ensure he feels secure within his tenancy – Reza said, “I didn’t feel safe at first but now I feel okay.” When describing the organisation he expressed his happiness saying that the staff are “good people” and that it is a “good organisation.”
Thinking about the future Reza stated that he wanted to get back into work as an engineer and said; “I’m taking it step by step…we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
For more information about the work of Hope worldwide, go to https://www.hopeworldwide.org.uk/