At the beginning of the lockdown period, a huge amount of work was undertaken by Pobl’s Housing First Team in Newport to support people off the streets and into safer, more secure accommodation...
In the early weeks, Pobl’s various floating support teams moved 64 people off the streets. Some were able to gain permanent tenancies immediately, but others were moved into temporary accommodation.
Whilst the provision of temporary accommodation has been criticised by some, the Housing First team has been overwhelmed by the positive response they have received from the people they support.
With this in mind, we wanted to share the story of Cheryl – a lady who had experienced life on the streets after sleeping rough for over four years. Cheryl was supported into temporary accommodation at the beginning of lockdown.
Here are her words…
“My life has been very turbulent, with lots of ups and downs. As a result of this I found myself street homeless. I lived in a tent for nearly 4 years. As an older lady I found this very hard and at times very scary. Especially when my tent was set on fire.
I was given the opportunity to move into the pods at Mission Court and to be fair, it was a God send. I finally had a roof over my head and I felt safe. My first night in a bed for a while was bliss.
I do not see this as a permanent solution, but it’s given me the want to gain my own independent accommodation.”
“I have been working with the Housing First team throughout all of this and the support I have received has given me the opportunity to think about what I want from life and what my future could look like.
They helped me to access treatment – something that I thought wouldn’t be possible.
I recently had a flat viewing and I’m looking forward to having my own front door and something that I can call my own. I would like to thank everybody involved.”
Cheryl has now successfully settled into accommodation of her own, with wrap around support from Housing First.
Cheryl’s story – and the story of a great deal of other people facing homelessness in Newport would have been very different if it wasn’t for the hard work of many people in many different teams.
John Glennon, Area Manager at Pobl concludes, “Newport’s housing department were amazing. And the support from Newport City Homes and Pobl Homes and Communities has enhanced our ability to move people off the streets and help them to plan for the future.”