We are able to help a wide variety of people in different, often difficult, circumstances. Below are just two examples of the support offered by AHAG.
CASE STUDY – AHAG November 2019
Client C is a 43 year old gentleman who presented to us following the breakdown of his marriage. He had been sofa surfing between several friends but his options were becoming increasingly limited and his mental health was worsening. We began to explore his housing options which included completing referrals for local supported accommodation schemes and advice on how to find a private rental. He was keen to look for a room in a shared house as this would most likely be his quickest short term option and meant he would remain on the housing register.
Prior to supporting Client C in looking at private rented accommodation we completed an in depth income and expenditure form and it came to light that he had unmanaged debts and extremely high outgoings. This made it difficult for him to be able to afford anything in the local area. We completed an urgent referral for a money management course and following this he was referred for a specific debt advice appointment at Citizens Advice. He also secured part time work which boosted his income.
We spent several meetings coaching Client C on conversations to have with potential landlords. He was pro-active in his search and we saw a huge increase in his confidence. In time he had set up several viewings and was offered a room within his budget. We were able to help him financially and secured funding for the deposit and one month’s rent in advance.
This stability will enable him to continue to work, address his financial issues, improve his mental health and have regular access with his children.
CASE STUDY – AHAG November 2019
Client D became homeless after having finished a 3 month prison sentence outside his home town of Aylesbury. He had no accommodation to move on to upon release and sofa surfed at his mother’s address until he could no longer stay there. He had been sleeping rough in various locations in the town centre for a week before approaching AHAG at our library drop-in to ask for help.
Client D was booked in to our office for an assessment the next working day, at which point we completed a referral to Connections Outreach Support and to Aylesbury Vale District Council. The following day AHAG agreed on a plan of action for how Client D could find appropriate housing as soon as possible. This included us completing a referral to supported accommodation, support with money management and budgeting skills, along with advice on how to obtain a private rental.
Unusually, it took a month for Client D to be verified as sleeping rough. Often this process only takes 1 or 2 weeks, but it can be harder to verify that somebody is sleeping rough when they are intermittently sofa surfing or changing sleeping locations on a regular basis. By the time Client D had been verified, he had developed some painful physical health conditions in both his feet and legs.
Immediately then under AVDC’s Rough Sleeper Initiative, Client D was placed into temporary accommodation with a support plan agreed in place between AHAG, Aylesbury Probation and other support agencies. His physical health improved swiftly within the first week.
Aylesbury Probation was soon after able to provide Client D with occasional support from a psychologist and AHAG referred him to a mental health outreach worker to receive further support. AHAG promptly recommended that Client D be put forward as a top candidate for affordable housing occasionally available via the Rough Sleeper Initiative, which was provided for him a few weeks later once a room had become available.
In the 3 months that AHAG supported Client D, he had consistently engaged with every single support service, the job centre and the council whenever he had been asked to attend an appointment.
By the time he was housed, Client D showed a dramatic improvement in budgeting skills, ability to look for a private rental and increased optimism about his employability and overall future. Despite being provided with temporary accommodation for 5 weeks, Client D needed a food parcel during this time after he needed to use some of his Universal Credit to replace a broken phone. He is currently settling well in his new home and hopes to find part-time work soon.