In our recent blog post about the DPS Charity Donations Fund, we looked back at the great things Chelmsford CHESS have achieved in their local community using money we donated.
Regular readers of our social media feeds may remember that in February 2015, one of the successful applicants to the DPS fund was Aylesbury Homeless Action Group (AHAG). In this blog, we’ll be going back to Buckinghamshire, and finding out how AHAG has been making a real difference in people’s lives.
Before we get started…what does AHAG actually do?
Since 2009, AHAG has been helping homeless and vulnerable people by giving them support and helping them to find accommodation. Here they tell us about how, thanks to money donated by the DPS Fund, they’ve been able to help one of their clients. Meet Mr S…
AHAG’s David Dickason introduces Mr S
“Mr S is a 30 year old male who presented at our drop in service in June 2015. Not only was he faced with imminent eviction, but he also had a number of support needs. These included a history of mental health issues which resulted in anxiety and depression. As a result, Mr S was vulnerable and susceptible to abuse. Added to which, as he’d never lived independently, he had issues with sustaining a tenancy.
“Mr S was sofa-surfing at his brother's property when he came to see us. As his brother was moving his partner and children in, Mr S could no longer stay there. We made an initial assessment, seeing Mr S at our offices to provide one-to-one support in a peaceful environment. We also encouraged Mr S to go and see his GP to get some extra care for his mental health alongside the support we were providing him during this difficult time.
Reaching the light at the end of the tunnel
“Before long, Mr S secured employment within the local area. We (AHAG) were able to support him in doing an affordability study that enabled him to budget for a property. Although on a 20 hour contract, he was working a 30 hour week. We were able to support him in getting his contract changed to reflect his true working hours, meaning he was entitled to Working Tax Credits.
“We supported Mr S in finding a private rental. One of our case workers met with the landlord and the client, and after ensuring that the property was suitable and that the correct paperwork was in place, we used £380 from the DPS Fund donation to cover the tenancy deposit.
The move into secure accommodation
“This enabled Mr S to move into secure accommodation, meaning he didn’t have to resort to becoming ‘street homeless’. We’ve provided Mr S ongoing support in terms of budgeting, and he’s now settled in his accommodation and remains in employment.”
Stories like Mr S’s were the reason we started the DPS Fund, and it’s truly humbling to see our donations having such a profound and wide-reaching effect.
If you’re a charity working in the housing sector, or you know a cause who could benefit from our help, find out more about our charity donations fund on our website.