Working to support Hartlepool’s homeless people

Lesley Hales, Home Group support co-ordinator and Graeme Richardson, housing officer at Four Housing.
Lesley Hales, Home Group support co-ordinator and Graeme Richardson, housing officer at Four Housing.

A social housing provider and the UK’s largest care and support specialist are working together to improve the lives of homeless people in Hartlepool.

Four Housing, which is responsible for more than 350 properties in the town, has teamed up with Home Group to help increase available accommodation to people who are homeless or at risk of being.

Home Group’s care and support division, Stonham, runs homeless services in the town from its Avondene service, and in the last 12 months has helped 22 people.

During that period Four Housing has helped nine individuals move into general needs accommodation.

Through Avondene’s outreach service, clients are helped to build their confidence and develop skills to help them move onto independent living, including applying for housing benefit.

Sarah, who recently moved into one of Four Housing’s one bedroom flats in the town, commented: “At one of the most difficult times in my life Four Housing, Home Group’s Avondene service, and a number of other organisations, offered me real reassurance.

“There’s a great support network in Hartlepool and they were able to make the process of getting back on my feet and moving into a permanent home much easier than it could have been.

“My flat is fantastic, I love having my own front door, and I feel like an adult for the first time.

“It’s given me a real sense of responsibility and it’s forced me to be much better with money. I feel stable and secure and ready to move onto the next chapter in my life.

“I found the process of applying for jobs much easier once I was more settled and focused, and have recently got a part-time position.

“In the future I’d like to get a job in design or photography and am looking to gain experience in this area.”

Graeme Richardson, housing officer at Four Housing, said: “Working with Avondene is delivering positive outcomes for a number of individuals.

“We have rental properties available in Hartlepool, and knowing that people have the right support in place to help them settle into their new home and sustain their tenancies has enabled us to provide accommodation to those most in need.”

Lesley Hales, Home Group support co-ordinator, said: “Sarah is making great progress and shows how specialist providers working together can turn peoples’ lives around.

“By working with Four Housing we’ve seen individuals move into affordable, secure permanent accommodation quicker than they may have been able to via other routes, and this is really important at a time when they are particularly vulnerable.

“Once a client has moved on we continue to offer support for up to 12 months which offers reassurance to both the client and Four Housing.

“Sarah has a really bright future, and I’m delighted we’ve been able to work together to provide much needed support when she needed it the most.”

For further information about Avondene Hartlepool, part of Home Group, call 0845 155 1234 or visit www.homegroup.org.uk
For more information about Four Housing, visit www.fourhousing.co.uk.