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73% of clients reduced their rent arrears during support.
At the age of just 18, Rachel had already been a victim of domestic abuse while balancing the responsibilities of being a teenage parent.
During an undoubtedly daunting time, Rachel received limited family support for her baby and was forced to adjust to living independently having never lived alone before.
Her previous arrangements of living with her mother saw a child protection plan placed on her baby due to the severity of domestic abuse from her ex-partner, leaving both her and her baby in a dangerous and vulnerable state.
With her baby just 12 weeks old, Rachel was referred to Lewis Crescent, a young parents’ scheme, to assess her ability to live independently and transport her to safer, more sustainable accommodation.
After arriving at the scheme, Rachel was immediately encouraged to convert her lifestyle, given specialised and monitored steps to make a positive change for her and her daughter’s future.
This included helping Rachel to maximise her income by introducing her to the benefits she was entitled to, ensuring that she registered herself and her daughter with a local GP, helping her to develop cooking skills for healthy and balanced meals, supporting her with child services contact and overcoming her previous relationship and introducing her to the rules and responsibilities of maintaining a tenancy.
While co-operating with staff at Lewis Crescent and fully engaging with the programme, Rachel was able to achieve and exceed the goals originally outlined to apply the vital changes that would help her move on with her life.
As a result, her baby was de-registered from the child protection plan with no further action taken and she lost all contact with her abusive partner. She regained contact with her own father and her daughter’s father as well as securing her own accommodation to live independently, still given floating support and the helping hand if she needs it.
Note: The name of the client has been changed in order to protect her anonymity.
As a single parent with a 17-year-old daughter, Fiona was already balancing an array of responsibilities, but tackling this alongside substantial debt and depression meant that everyday tenancy and finance management soon became an overbearing task.
With the pair living in a tenancy with one bedroom under occupied, Fiona made initially made no attempts to make any bedroom or council tax payments and was paying out more than she was receiving per week.
Suffering a previous breakdown due to anxiety and depression, Fiona was experiencing memory problems and had trouble processing information, resulting in significant barriers when managing these debts and making telephone calls.
Her already mounting arrears were intensified due to her hostile behaviour around receiving financial support and as a result of Welfare Reform, her and her daughter’s weekly budget experienced increased strain.
Due to a desperate need to overcome a financial crisis, Fiona began receiving treatment for her mental health and her and her daughter were given advice on overcoming debts.
Outcomes and successes:
Fiona immediately received specialised and flexible support with advocacy her memory problems and was linked up with Cleveland Housing Advice Centre to address her debts and finances.
This involved being educated on the different types of debts she was facing, as well as being directed to the correct place to receive advice around overcoming existing outstanding payments.
As well as managing her own income, Fiona was also supported with applying for carer benefits due to taking care of her mum who suffers from dementia.
As a result of a transformation in her finance management and mental health, Fiona was able to successfully prepare her home for a move as well as being able to manage a tenancy where she isn’t affected by bedroom tax.
With debts and arrears radically reduced, Fiona now has a positive outlook on the future and continues to manage her finances correctly.
Arriving at the Veterans’ Centre as the paint was still drying, Marc was the very first resident at the scheme and brought with him a chaotic history of ex-offending, substance misuse, debt, breakdown in family relationships and an ongoing struggle to live independently after leaving the army.
He entered into army life at age 21 as part of Kings Own Scottish Borderers where he served almost a decade in both Iraq and Northern Ireland.
In spite of finding himself a flat and a job upon returning home, Mark found civilian life extremely stressful and wound up in prison after an incident involving alcohol misuse.
Upon his release Marc found a place in a Salvation Army hostel, but with an overwhelming sense of alienation having a knock on effect on both his emotional and physical health, another incident involving alcohol lead him to lose his tenancy and he was left homeless and immensely vulnerable.
Marc then spent his nights under Byker Bridge or the occasional evening on a friend’s sofa in urgent need of support and guidance to convert his lifestyle.
A friend from the British Legion thankfully referred Mark to the Veterans’ Centre and he contacted the scheme immediately.
Outcomes and successes:
Upon Marc’s arrival, he described the centre as entering into his own sanctuary where he focused positive energy into his personal health and fitness, eating properly again, enjoying the peace and quiet and attending the gym.
While working alongside the scheme to improve his lifestyle, Marc proudly stated that the most rewarding aspect of receiving the support was giving reassurance to his mum that he was safe and on the right track.
He has also pursued many of his interests, including a course on life skills in Derbyshire and a course at Finchdale College, a forklift driving course and is currently on a horticultural course.
Due to attend a course in the new year as a groundsman at St Michael’s Church, Thirteen Care & Support is looking into funding to allow Marc to develop a full-time career.
Now living independently, Marc still receives floating support and continues to transform his life through the innovative scheme.
With a new life as young parents already commanding significant responsibilities for partners Dawn and Tom, their pressure to maintain a stable and healthy relationship became quickly overshadowed by Dawn’s prolific drug use.
Her struggle lead Tom to adopt sole care of his then 2 month old child, but after leaving rented accommodation he soon found himself and his daughter homeless with no support from his family.
He moved into the Thirteen Care & Support scheme in order to receive shelter and help with taking care of his daughter, but with Dawn’s drug use being a prominent aspect of her lifestyle since she was just 12 years old, chances of her being able to assist Tom with parenting were still looking unlikely.
She had lost custody of her four other children as a result of her dangerous lifestyle and was receiving methadone to try and overcome the addiction, but secretly took street drugs on top of her prescribed dose.
Despite these difficulties, the couple were still determined to take care of their daughter full-time, meaning that an assessment needed to be carried out from social services to determine whether Dawn would be able to move into the scheme with Tom.
Outcomes and successes:
Dawn immediately co-operated with a specialist medical practice, social services and counselling to discuss the bereavement that she had never fully come to terms with.
She was required to carry out regular drug tests as well as being having a discussion with her GP in order to make an agreement that her previous drug dose would not be prescribed again and that she would lower her substance intake steadily.
As well as overcoming the drug addiction, Dawn and Tom were able to build on their relationship and looking after their daughter, resulting in a second pregnancy and thriving full-time parents when the child was born.
After slowly coming off of drugs altogether, Dawn was eager to speak to others undergoing similar circumstances and soon became an inspiration through sharing her life story.
Now living in a property close to the scheme, Dawn has made arrangements to visit two of her eldest children and her and Tom often still visit the scheme to speak of their remarkable outcomes.
A severe deterioration in mental health instigated a destructive lifestyle for Thomas, including a breakdown in communication, anti-social behaviour, debt and verbally menacing behaviour.
His lack of engagement also prompted ongoing self-neglect, but due to the nature of psychosis he was unable to proceed with legal action.
As a result, Thomas began to isolate himself by defacing his received letters and plastering them across the corridors, as well as blocking out the windows of his flat and making engagement with agencies impossible.
With urgent support needed, Thomas received specialised guidance from Thirteen Care & Support in order to treat his psychosis and overcome debt problems.
Outcomes and successes:
After being sectioned under the Mental Health Act, Thomas was hospitalised and given treatment for his mental health.
Working with a range of support teams, steps were taken to ensure that Thomas would have access to a sustainable tenancy once coming out of hospital.
Once discharged, Thomas was given advice and guidance to maintain his tenancy and recovery outcomes were achieved with mental health services.
Because of this, Thomas was able to manage his tenancy independently as well as improving the internal condition of the flat and receiving successful treatment for psychosis.
He also regained some contact with family and was able to reduce the number of complaints coming from neighbours regarding anti-social behaviour.
Now back on track, Thomas has been encouraged to link up with external agencies, meaning his debts are now successfully cleared.