Clara was made homeless Thursday last week.
She was evicted from her home in a neighbouring borough and housed on a temporary basis into a Newham. Clara is an incredibly educated woman – with professional qualifications that most of us can only dream of – a true expert in her chosen field of work.
Nevertheless due to circumstances beyond her control, and none of her own fault she found herself coming to us on Monday having been placed in a single room in Newham with her two children.
When Clara got to us, we sat her down, shared a cup of tea with her, and talked through how we could help. It turned out that most of her life is well under control, she is on maternity leave from a great job – all she really needed was a home.
She said ‘who can I speak to?’
When Clara asked who she should speak to, we were able to point across the room, past the play-do and the ball pit, to Farah, our wonderful housing advisor from Shelter who was, at the time, deep in discussion on the merits and demerits of Lidl nappies at the time!
She and Clara sat down. It was clear that Farah needed to take on her case.
Skip forward three days. And Clara is on her way to moving in to a new home.
Clara has been rehoused.
A week! Now that is how ‘temporary’ we would love all ‘temporary’ acccommodation to be!
Clara and her children are now moving in to a house in a nearby borough, still close enough to the project to visit if she needs any more help.
Don’t get us wrong it does not always happen like this. In fact this is the second time it has happened so fast since we started in June. The vast majority of our cases involve untangling multiple problems around immigration, housing, family etc. But how wonderful when all the stars align and it does!!! When all it takes is finding the right place to go and the right people to talk to.
Working together to get results
So who was involved in getting this result to Clara?
Thank you to the referrer who took quick action to signpost mum to us.
Thank you to mum who made the massively brave step to walk through the door.
Thank you to our team of incredibly dedicated volunteers who welcomed her, gave her tea, and chatted until she felt comfortable enough to share her story, shared lunch with her
Thank you to Shelter who have been insanely supportive even when the project was just an idea and now send the fabulous Farah to us each week.
Thank you to Aston-Mansfield who allow us to operate in their premises.
And thank you to every Newham resident, business and family that support us.
Working together, joining the dots, communicating with other voluntary and statutory organisations.
This sort of multi agency, community focused working (or people coming together to care as it used to be called) is how things get done!
Let”s spread the word, and keep on keeping on!