Harry* aged 19 was originally referred to us by his caseworker at the Department of Work and Pensions, who spoke very highly of him and had given him a glowing reference. Harry had recently found himself homeless following a heated argument at home. He had spent some time at his girlfriend’s parents’ but this was only temporary, and at the time of referral to The Benjamin Foundation, he was sofa surfing.
Harry was fortunate enough to secure employment shortly after becoming homeless, but hadn’t been working long enough to save money for a deposit. This was the reason he had been referred to us; we offer financial support with rent deposits through the Rent Deposit Scheme (RDS) with funding from End Youth Homelessness (EYH).
Harry is very ambitions and was very eager to be working as much as possible to earn his own money. He even secured a second job as a kitchen porter!
Our Tenancy Support Worker, Erica, began working with Harry to help find him accommodation. Erica spoke with Harry and provided him with relevant information on housing benefit and offered budgeting advice. Erica then advised him to consider all his viable options, after calculating affordability. She also suggested Harry contact the council to seek advice and ascertain whether he was eligible for any form of support.
Harry did as Erica suggested and a Housing Adviser from the local council got in touch with Erica to discuss Harry and his situation. After the conversation, the Housing Adviser offered to loan Harry part of the deposit, with The Benjamin Foundation covering the remainder.
Once this had been agreed, Harry then arranged several viewings of rooms in HMO’s (House of Multiple Occupation) and soon found one he really liked. Things then moved very fast and within a few days, Harry was able to move into his new accommodation. This was made possible by the various departments at The Benjamin Foundation working together with the Housing Adviser and the Estate Agent to ensure the deposit was paid swiftly so Harry wouldn’t lose out.
Since Harry moved into his new home, he’s been very busy working. Unfortunately, he was made redundant recently as his employer went into liquidation, leaving him out of pocket by several hundred pounds. However, due to Harry’s strong work ethic, he soon secured several interviews and was subsequently offered a full time position at a local restaurant.
As well as support with a rent deposit, The Benjamin Foundation also offer the services of a Tenancy Support Officer to help young people to manage their ongoing tenancy, as well as access to the The Benjamin Foundation Job Coach. Although he was offered these, Harry felt he didn’t necessarily need support in those areas as he was managing his tenancy and his finances well, and he was happy in the job he had.
Harry continues to maintain his tenancy and is enjoying his new job. He recently had a week’s holiday in the UK with his girlfriend and her family, which was very much deserved.
Harry has always been really grateful for any help he’s received and is a pleasure to work with. We have no doubt that he will do well and we’re proud to have been able to support Harry in his first steps to independence.
*Name has been changed.
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