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 2017
Client X presented to us in May as he was facing eviction from his private rented accommodation due to rent arrears. The rent arrears accrued because the client had been living on his savings and was unaware that he was able to claim benefits when the savings were at a certain amount. At the time of presentation to us he had £1500 rent arrears and the landlord had served an eviction notice. Client X had been diagnosed with mixed depressive disorder and avoidant personality traits. Due to his mental health it was difficult to initially determine the full extent of the situation.
After completing the assessment we arranged further appointments to continue support. The initial thing that we supported the client with was benefits so he had an income source. Another important thing to deal with was communication with the landlord as this was causing the client a lot of anxiety. We spoke to the landlord via email and telephone and re assured him that we were supporting client X and would keep him updated. He agreed that he would hold off on the eviction notice as client X was seeking support.
Further appointments consisted of applying to the housing register, completing relevant housing referrals, applying for PIP, referrals into AVDC homelessness team and the debt advice team and general welfare support.
I attended appointments at AVDC with the client and worked closely with other agencies to support him in the best possible way. I believed that he was in priority need and started to gather relevant medical information to back this up. I submitted all the evidence to AVDC and this was sent off to be assessed by external medical assessor. I continued to update the landlord to let him know where we were up to with things.
The decision from the external medical assessor was taking a bit of time even though we had chased it. The landlord did decide to go ahead with the court proceedings and at the end of August applied for an accelerated eviction order. This had quite a big impact on client X’s mental health but I reassured him as much as I could and supported him through the process.
As soon as the landlord advised he was applying to the courts I got straight back in contact with the homelessness officer from AVDC. Due to me expressing my concerns over the client’s deterioration in mental health and the medical information sent across to her she was able to make the decision that client X would be priority without the decision from the external assessors. She advised that there was a self-contained flat available in temporary accommodation in Aylesbury which client X could move into the next day. She also accepted a duty and increased his banding on Bucks Home Choice.
Even though client X was completely overwhelmed and anxious about the thought of moving on so quickly he knew that this was the best option for him. I attended the sign up appointment with him and made sure he was settled and had everything he needed. Less than a week of being in the temporary accommodation I received a call from AVDC to say that client X had been successful and was going to be potentially offered a more permanent property through Bucks Home Choice at the beginning of October. We will continue to support client X until he is settled and then hand over to the mental health team where is he going to be allocated a community care worker.
CASE STUDY – Winter Emergency Project 2017
18 year old female – assessed January 2017
Key issues – young vulnerable female, unable to remain in family home, considerable time spent in refuge, unemployed and not in education
This young female came to AHAG in need of emergency accommodation as the refuge were no longer able to support or move her forward into stable accommodation. She was also receiving support from Youth Concern.
AHAG discussed moving on options and explored private rentals, social housing as well as supported accommodation. The initial application had been made for social housing but supporting documents needed to be submitted to enable to application to be made live. With daily support, this young lady opened up to AHAG staff. The client had poor time keeping and was quite forgetful of appointments and priorities, which she acknowledged and these had also gone against her in previous employment resulting in a loss of income.
Together we discussed supported accommodation and the benefits of this for someone her age when they leave home quite young. A previous application had been made but at the time it was felt that due to previous issues there could be potential issues around safe guarding. A new application was made to Stonham and following an assessment, she was accepted and moved in mid-February.
During her time in WEP, the client also secured full time work.