During the pandemic, Abdi* became homeless and was at risk of rough sleeping had Centrepoint's Homeless Prevention Service in Manchester not been able to place him in emergency accommodation. He is now settled, but looking forwards to restrictions easing so he can take his driving test and start working.
At risk of street homelessness
Abdi* came through to Centrepoint in November 2020 stating his mum had asked him to leave the family home. With nowhere else to stay, he was at risk of street homelessness.
Steph, his assigned support worker at Centrepoint, contacted his mum to confirm his homelessness and she confirmed that he could no longer live at home.
She added that she needed Abdi’s bedroom to place her husband into as he had deteriorating mental health needs. Abdi was not able to return to the family home.
Not in 'priority need'
Under the HRA (Homeless Reduction Act) legislation Abdi would not be in ‘priority need’ for housing and therefore the Local Authority had no legal obligation to provide any emergency, interim accommodation.
This was further impacted by the Covid19 pandemic which meant that young people had been waiting a lot longer than usual to access supported accommodation.
Supported by Centrepoint into temporary accommodation
Centrepoint in Manchester had recently acquired a new 2-bed unit for those who are street homeless. Its purpose is to bring young people off the streets with a tailored support package before moving them on to more longer term accommodation within a short time frame. Abdi was deemed suitable and eligible for this property and was placed in the accommodation for the 56 relief duty period (under the HRA) whilst longer term housing options were sought.
“Everything was new there and I felt very safe and comfortable. Stephanie always checked that I had everything I needed," he says.
Whilst in the accommodation, the other tenant tested positive for Covid. Abdi was provided with both practical and emotional support which included: information and support, finding a test centre for him to access a test; providing cleaning equipment to maintain safety and hygiene and daily welfare checks. Steph contacted Abdi daily through this period to ensure he was okay and didn’t need anything.
“She booked and attended appointments with me and stopped me from worrying about things. She was very easy to talk to and put me at ease.”
A few weeks later, Abdi was offered an interview for longer term, supported accommodation. Centrepoint paid for Abdi’s taxi to transport him to the new accommodation and his case was kept open whilst ‘transitioning’. Abdi settled in well and there were no outstanding issues.
Looking to the future
Looking forwards, Abdi is desperate to get into work. He says, “I have found the pandemic really hard. I feel really isolated and lonely and there’s nothing to do. I’m looking forward to restrictions easing so I can pass my driving test and work as a delivery driver.”
*names have been changed