After being referred to us by a housing officer, we made contact with a family who were living in a homeless unit. They were waiting for their fifth home since arriving in England.

Their three children were on Social Services’ Child in Need plan, which meant there was a high chance they would be removed from their parents and placed into care.

Looking after three children and her blind husband, it was evident that Mam was struggling.

Since arriving in England, the family had been forced to move home four times due to the short-term tenancies provided, resulting in them struggling to build relationships and, more importantly, get the children settled into a school.

The family were finding themselves isolated and didn’t know where to go for help and support.

Dad’s English was very poor and Mam was exhausted from juggling the children, attending appointments, and carrying out day-to-day duties – all the while having her own health problems.

Money problems were also a major concern. The family were not entitled to claim any benefits which meant their funding was provided by NASS (Asylum Support). A budget of £100 a week for a family of five was given for food, toiletries, gas, electric and other essentials that were needed. This was nowhere near enough for the family to live on, so they relied on food parcels from us and North Tyneside Council.

At the end of November 2019, the family were given the right to remain in Britain. This enabled the family to get additional support with housing and finances. Addressing the priorities was our Family Entrepreneur’s first task – identifying the correct benefits and carrying out the necessary steps so that they could get a permanent family home.

A couple of weeks after the family gained permanent residency, we managed to successfully apply for Personal Independent Payment for Dad. We also made and attended appointments for both parents to ensure that communication was clear, and the family understood what was needed.

From there, we applied to Tyne and Wear Homes and in January 2020 the family got the news they had longed for: they were offered a permanent property.

A group of our fantastic staff spent four days cleaning and painting the property to ensure it was habitable and a home they could be proud of. We also had it adapted to fit Dad’s needs, sourcing furniture for the full house from the Furniture Resource Centre.

Once the family were settled into the property, we helped sort out all utilities, opened bank accounts, signed the family up to a doctors and dentist. Mam enrolled onto an ESOL class to help with the English Language and also ‘Walking With’ in North Tyneside to help her build relationships within the area.

From the support given by us, the family are no longer on any support plan. Mam has passed her driving theory test and is on the waiting list to take her practical test. Mam has also passed her ESOL level 1 and 2 and has enrolled onto a college course to study nursing.

Your donations help us continue supporting families just like this. If you can’t contribute financially, please spread the word about our work and share our stories – there’s more than one way to support your community! We’re so grateful for all the help we receive; thank you.

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