A festive post today, with real ‘tidings of comfort and joy’! We had some great news from Ingrid Wright, our Homelessness Service Manager last week. Her service in Basingstoke has been awarded £1400 from Hampshire County Council as part of the ‘Hitting the Cold Spots’ grant to support those living on the streets through winter. This brilliant news means Ingrid and her team will be able to purchase clothing, extra sleeping bags and flasks, and provide hot food and drink to the homeless people they work with. Winter can be a tough time for street sleepers; what a fantastic opportunity to expand our resources even more to those who need them, at a time when they need them most.
Ingrid will keep us updated on what they do with this funding over the winter months, so watch this space!…
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According to The Portsmouth News last month, benefits are going down, evictions are going up and more and more people are struggling to pay their rent. As a private landlord, that’s not great news to hear … so wouldn’t it be great if you knew the people you rented your room to had personalised support which helped them budget effectively, manage their money, pay their rent on time and be model tenants?
Well, that’s exactly what Portsmouth’s First Base service does. The service, run for young people by The YOU Trust, matches young people to private landlords and puts the support in place to make sure that the tenancy is a success for everyone involved.
Last year, in the Portsmouth area alone, 375 orders were handed to landlords to evict tenants who had not paid rent and that doesn’t include those cases that didn’t go to court, late payments or simply claims that weren’t pursued. First Base supported over 200 young people last year … and none of them were evicted.
There’s a lot of prejudice and assumptions about people under the age of 25. Some assume young people don’t have a regular income, aren’t in college or can’t hold …
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Advice Portsmouth was commissioned by Portsmouth City Council using a Systems Thinking approach to ensure more client-focused and responsive services. So far, it’s working extremely well and we’re seeing in excess of 60 people a day using the new service. This apprach to intelligent, cost effective commissioning has been used as a case study by Advice UK‘s BOLD project and highlighted in the following article: BOLD Advice UK Article
BOLD is a joint project of AdviceUK, Directory of Social Change and new economics foundation, funded by The Baring Foundation’s 2008 Strengthening the Voluntary Sector programme. BOLD aims to strengthen the independence and effectiveness of advice organisations through the development of commissioning models that place the needs of service users first.
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