A life-changing scheme has been launched to help homeless people find high-quality, long-term accommodation.
Greatwell Homes has joined forces with the Borough Council to provide up to 42 properties for people who would have previously been given emergency accommodation on a short-term basis.
Until recently Charlene Martin and her one-year-old daughter, Maci-May, had nowhere to call home. Sofa-surfing between family and friends had become a way of life before an eight-week stay in a property provided by the Council.
Receiving the keys to a Greatwell Homes’ two-bedroom house has since transformed life for the young mum.
She said: “Where I was staying before had one room and a shared bathroom so it never felt like our own.
“Maci-May had little room to play and we were living out of bags. Now we have a bedroom each and a nice garden. I was so excited when I got the keys, it was really overwhelming. It’s such a weight off my mind to know we can stay here, the relief is huge.
“To start with I had someone from Greatwell Homes visiting each week but now they come monthly to check that I’m doing OK and the property is in good order. I’m working and receive some benefits so I can manage my rent and I know the support is there if I need it.”
The new scheme allows Greatwell Homes and Wellingborough Borough Council to support tenants and provides a springboard for better health, employment prospects and access to other provision.
Mo Baker, Head of Support and Communities at Greatwell Homes, said: “We are delighted to offer this service and help some of the most vulnerable people in the community towards a more secure future.
“When people have to live in emergency, short-term accommodation it can lead to uncertainty and does not allow them time to settle. By giving people the chance to call somewhere home, and supporting them to manage their tenancy, they can concentrate on looking forward.”
Matthew Fryer (35), recently moved into a one-bedroom flat after spending the previous eight months in hospital.
He said: “I’m getting on really well; it’s so much better living here – I feel safe and settled.
“I can finally concentrate on getting better and am looking forward to the future. I hope to find a job once I’m well enough to do so.”
Providing tenants can pay their rent and look after the property, the scheme enables them to enjoy a more sustainable home and live without the fear of having to move every few weeks. Support from an experienced team of professionals is also available for those who need it.