Nearly 1700 people referred to Salvation Army in 2015-2016 because they were homeless or being made homeless.
Organisations helping people get back on their feet after experiencing homelessness are hosting an open day for prospective Coventry landlords to highlight the opportunities available when taking on a tenant who has formerly experienced homelessness.
The open day will take place at The Salvation Army’s Coventry City church in Upper Well Street on Thursday, May 19 from 1pm to 3pm. Landlords will be able to find out more about the range of free services on offer which could help them find suitable tenants. From April to March 2015-2016 1,695 people were referred to The Salvation Army in Coventry because they were homeless or being made homeless. So now, local agencies are joining together to request support from landlords to help find people somewhere to live.
The Salvation Army, Coventry City Council, Crisis Skylight and St Basils will be at the open day to highlight to landlords the schemes, opportunities, and support on offer to landlords and tenants. Private landlords who support people who rely on help from Housing Benefit will have access to advice and guidance from a housing professional with experiencing in dealing with clients with support needs or Housing Benefit, help with paperwork, help to access rent in advance, and a ready supply of potential tenants.
*Sandra, 59, became homeless in September last year after eight years working for a storage unit company – she lost her job when the company closed the site and also her home as she lived on site. Sandra is now staying at Axholme House through The Salvation Army homelessness contract, which provides support services and accommodation for people aged over 25 in the city, and will soon be moving into an independent flat.
She said: “I can’t wait to move - it is a little bungalow. I can’t wait to make it my own – I will make it a little palace. I will also then get myself a job – although I will be sixty. I worked so hard for my previous company, and the way they treated me was appalling. But I love working so I hope people will take me on despite my age.”
Jen Gordon, Programme Co-Ordinator for The Salvation Army, said: “We need landlords urgently who are willing to help house people who have been made homeless. Free schemes have been set up to support landlords, and organisations supporting those who are homeless in the city will recommend people who we feel have the skills and support to cope with a tenancy. There are so many reasons people become homeless – often it is due to relationship breakdown or loss of employment, like in *Sandra's case, which could happen to any of us. Many just need a place of their own so they can really start to rebuild their lives".
*Not Sandra’s real name.