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A grant of £93,000 over 2 years from the London Housing Foundation is helping women leaving prison to get their lives back on track.

The grant was awarded to Women in Prison, an organisation that supports and campaigns for women affected by the criminal justice system.

Rachel Halford, Director of Women in Prison said: “The LHF grant enabled us to provide support to over 500 women in the last year. For some this has been one off advice.  For other women  it has involved intensive and lasting one to one support that has enabled them to make real changes in their lives, dealing with the underlying causes of their involvement with the criminal justice system and helping ensure they don’t go straight back to prison.  This project is making a real difference.”

The practical support provided includes liaising with landlords, helping to sort benefit payments, communicating with mortgage companies, court proceedings and evictions, referrals to housing organisations, helping with ID and supporting mothers.

Jo, came out of prison recently after serving 16 weeks of a 9 month sentence for assault.  She said: “The worker from Women in Prison was fantastic; she really helped me out.  I thought I would lose my flat, but she told me that I was entitled to some help from housing benefit and so would not have to give up my tenancy.  I was released with a tag after 16 weeks – this would not have happened if I had been homeless.  They also helped me manage my arrears and now I have started volunteering as well”

Margaret Malcolm, Acting Director at the LHF said: “This is an excellent project that is keeping vulnerable women off the streets and out of prison.  We are very pleased to be able to support their valuable work”

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