London charity gets £90k to help 120 rough sleepers find homes
A charity supporting homeless people in Barnet has received £90,000 to help the borough’s rough sleepers find accommodation.
City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, has awarded the funding to Homeless Action in Barnet (HAB) to give housing advice and support rough sleepers to break the cycle of homelessness.
The grant will enable the charity to put increased focus on the root causes of homelessness, working with people to move them towards finding safe and stable accommodation and make the transition into living independently.
The funding is for three years, HAB expects to house 40 people each year.
The charity will identify and build relationships with private landlords and help rough sleepers work with the borough’s rent deposit scheme.
HAB will also recruit and train a group of volunteers to provide additional support after the individuals move in, particularly with skills to help with independent living, including money management skills.
The scheme’s aim is to have continuity of support available throughout the journey from rough sleeping to having a home and putting down roots in the local community.
Alison Gowman, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, commented:
“This funding will provide key support when accommodation is found for a rough sleeper in Barnet, a vital factor which is often overlooked. Support is needed more than ever in the transition to independent living; skills and advice which this charity can help with.
“Unfortunately, in today’s society the issue of homelessness is increasingly prevalent. It needs to be a high priority to get people off the streets, something which we are very keen to support.
“City Bridge Trust is committed to making the capital a better place to live, for all Londoners.”
Joe Lee, chief executive of Homeless Action in Barnet Limited, added:
"Here at Homeless Action in Barnet, we strive to make our centre ‘A Place of Change’ and we know that given the right support and opportunities people who are homeless can resolve their problems.
“With the grant from City Bridge Trust we can help more people break the cycle of homelessness and find a safe place to call home."
X is a 25-year-old male of Black British - African origin. He first came to the Centre in July 2017. He was sleeping rough in a car and needed help to find accommodation and he also wanted to get back into education. He was referred to the counsellor at the Centre and a support plan was drawn up.
In August he was referred to the Shared House and moved in at the beginning of the month.
"My name is X and I would like to thank everyone involved with HAB for the support and guidance they showed me.
My life changed drastically late in 2012 when I lost someone close to me - my dad. Soon after, mum's mental health state went downhill. I can only imagine what she must have gone through. Weeks after dad passed away, mum booked a one-way ticket to Africa without telling us children - including me. I have 3 older sisters, but we were all young at the time. I was 17 and the oldest of all four was 20 and all still in education.
Things just got worse as in 2014 as we lost our family home due to unpaid rent. We went to Barnet Homes but my one of my sisters downgraded our 3-bedroom home to 1 bed and didn't mention to the council I was living with there. This really broke me because the only people who I could rely on in the whole wide world have left me with nothing. This had me sleeping in my car for 3 months. I basically gave up on life.
Despite all this, I kept going, hoping and praying for the best. One day, I was in Finchley and saw HAB. It was closed because it was at night. I made a note to come here in the morning which I did. I walked in upset with no confidence or drive. I was basically a mess. The staff saw something in me that made them believe in me. All of them were amazing and they helped by getting me on benefits and from there, into the shared houses. Soon after, I was applying for work again. 3 weeks ago, I found a job in Amazon Warehouse. I was over the moon knowing I can now wake up with a motive and offer something back to the community.
I haven't felt like this in a long time and it's all thanks to the staff at HAB helping me to regain confidence and believe all is not lost. I appreciate all that has been done for me.”
In October he reported that he had found a Job and he has now started to look for alternative accommodation in the private sector
City Bridge Trust is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantage and inequality across the capital. The Trust has awarded around 7,700 grants totalling over £370 million since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the City Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners
Notes to editors
About the City of London Corporation:
The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles:
- We support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, makes grants of around £20 million annually to tackle disadvantage across London.
- We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, the Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important commons in London.
- We also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events and research-driven policies, all reflecting a long-term approach.
See www.cityoflondon.gov.uk for more details.
Media Officer, City of London Corporation
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