Since 2017 we have been working with partners and other housing providers across the region to help entrenched rough sleepers off the streets, and into accommodation.
This work has been a collective effort with partners and participants of the SIB (Social Impact Bond), and since its launch more than 500 people have been referred.
Jackie Bleasdale is one of our Support and Wellbeing Coordinators who works with SIB participants, and this is the story of how she worked with one customer, Paul, to find help him into a safe and secure home.
"Paul has been a One Manchester tenant since October 2018, and I have supported him from day one”, says Jackie.
“The reason behind how he became homeless was that he had his own window cleaning business and wasn’t declaring his tax at the time. When his son turned 16 and he wanted to show him the right way in life and so started to pay tax.
“They literally ran his business to the ground with the amount he had to pay, and it went down the pan.”
Entrenched rough sleepers.
Through our continued work with the SIB, our Support and Wellbeing Coordinators have seen first-hand that people can become homeless for lots of different reasons.
Many people become homeless because they can no longer afford the rent.
For many, life events like a relationship breaking down, losing a job, mental or physical health problems, or substance misuse put people under considerable strain.
“Paul started to drink and that got out of control and his relationship broke down”, Jackie explained.
“Before he knew it, he was homeless. He was homeless for around three years, and street homeless for six months. To cut a long story short, he made a change and addressed his issues with alcohol, and he came to us via the SIB project.”
After being the victim of an assault by a neighbour, Paul had recently been helped by our team to move to a different property.
“I supported him to move home by using one of our vans”, says Jackie. “We also got him new carpets, a cooker and other bits and pieces for his kitchen.”
Paul has been delighted with the help and support we have been able to offer him, and now firmly believes that things are looking up. He told us:
“You really don't understand what a difference you have made to my life. I will be honest I was feeling a bit low but as you know me, I will always say I'm ok.
“The boost you and the wonderful team at One Manchester have given me is just what was needed. I was going down a bit to be honest, so a huge thank you.
“I can start building again, so I'm going to start doing a bit of volunteering work again. I’m going to take a trip to Mustard Tree (a charity that helps to prevent homelessness) and Coffee for Craig and put myself forward.”
We’re proud of the effort Paul has put in to improve his life, and we’re delighted to have been able to support him.
Helping out the neighbours.
He is known in his neighbourhood to look after lots of the older community with their shopping and gardening needs.
Paul had previous been given the opportunity to work on a voluntary basis in our Mobile Cleaning team, and wasted no time putting the skills he gained during that time to use, he started to clean and maintain his neighbours gardens.
"He has volunteered for various charities and shopped for the elderly neighbours in his community", Jackie told us. "In his last property he looked after lots of the older community, helping them with their gardens, and now in his new property he has totally revamped the whole close, cutting gardens of tenants and communal with his own equipment.
"We bought his a lawn mower and vouchers for a strimmer and extension cable. The neighbours absolutely love him!"
We're really proud of the work Paul has done for himself to turn his life around, as well as the work of our Support and Wellbeing team in giving Paul the help he needed.
To find out more about our work with the SIB please look here or contact our Support & Wellbeing team by completing our Contact Form.