Since 2014, The DPS Charity Fund has been donating money to worthy causes in the property sector. In this blog, the first of three, we re-visit one of our successful applicants, and take a look at how our donation has helped individuals and their community.
Based in Chelmsford, and working across Essex, CHESS aims to relieve hardship, distress and poverty among those living in adverse housing conditions. We felt they were ideal recipients of a donation from The DPS Charity Fund because their pledge to help people in need to pay deposits and rent with repayable loans really exemplified what the fund is all about, as well as having a recyclable nature that could go on helping people into the future.
A typical beneficiary of Chelmsford CHESS’s work is a man who, in the interests of anonymity, we’ll call Mr P.
Here we look at how the CHESS Temporary Supported Housing Scheme, which received £10,000 from The DPS charity fund in the Autumn of 2014, helped Mr P turn his life around after hitting rock bottom.
Back in February 2015, 40-year-old Mr P presented himself as homeless to CHESS. After discovering his wife was having an affair with his work colleague, his relationship had deteriorated very quickly and his situation was exacerbated following the issuance of a court order preventing him from returning to the joint tenancy he had shared with his wife.
At the time of approaching CHESS, Mr P had recently suffered 2 heart attacks, and the haulage business he owned at the time he became homeless, was in roughly £60,000 debt.
CHESS Temporary Supported Housing Scheme
After Mr P became resident within the CHESS Supported Housing Scheme, his support worker helped him to claim welfare benefits and to contact Christians Against Poverty (a charity that helps people overcome debt issues). Christians Against Poverty quickly took on Mr P’s case and they were able to negotiate with creditors to eradicate the debt.
Before long, the debt issue had been dealt with, Mr P was far more stable emotionally, and thanks to help from his friends, found work as a banksman on a waste disposal site.
The move into Private Renting
By now, Mr P’s support worker had decided he was ready to move on. Having been referred to CHESS’s Private Renting Scheme, he began researching suitable properties. With the funding given by The DPS, along with a rent guarantor (a friend), Mr P was able to secure a 1 bedroom property on a six month tenancy (£650 pcm) close to his new place of work. CHESS’s Secure Tenancies Officer was able to contact the letting agent and arrange for a cheque to be raised to cover the upfront costs of the tenancy, amounting to £1,300. Mr P took possession of his new home on 30th July 2015.
Since then, the Secure Tenancies Officer has remained in telephone contact with Mr P, who has now settled into his new accommodation and is continuing his employment.
We’re delighted to hear about stories like Mr P’s and hope our donation continues to help other people in need find the same support and success against adversity. 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.