Homelessness is growing even more rapidly since the pandemic. Dormitory style shelters have been closed because of social distancing, and those who find themselves homeless were given hotel rooms but this scheme has drawn to a close. The government ban on evictions has now ended and furlough is also ending this year. All this, and some of the original shelters completely disbanding has created a worrying situation in which we soon expect to see a lot more people on the streets.
Homeless people often have to wait for local authority housing for several years. Those housed can find themselves very lonely once they’ve been housed leading to a shocking proportion returning to the streets for community. Often homeless men have an institutionalised background such as the armed forces, prison or the care system and so have never managed a home or a budget and are overwhelmed by the task.
Resettlement is key. There is a lack of resettlement workers in Greater Manchester meaning that little assistance is available to find employment, accommodation or home visits after being housed. The majority of Embassy’s staff team are resettlement workers and resettlement is our priority.
We quickly realised short term emergency accommodation wasn’t enough, so 5 months after our first guest stepped onto the bus, we employed our first full time Resettlement Manager. Now we have employed several resettlement workers. This, coupled with growing offers of work from local companies meant we quickly became a resettlement programme. Now that we offer men and women residency in our houses, it means that we cut out the shelter ‘middle man’ end their homelessness on day one.
Our resettlement workers offer 6+ hours per week of training in shopping, cooking, budgeting and home management training. They are renting and practicing for regular private rental when they move on. There’s no hand-outs but rather we support closely to build independence.
Our residents are given the opportunity to work full time at one of our 15 Corporate Partner’s businesses so that they can save up first month’s rent and a deposit and be guided through the process into private rental accommodation, all with the support of our highly skilled Resettlement Manager. We also visit re-housed guests regularly for up to 6 months after they leave our accommodation. This unburdens council housing waiting lists, our ex-residents no longer rely on benefits and we help them to successfully settle and live happily in their new home.
If you would like to support our charity and projects, please visit www.embassybus.org/contact/