There can be many factors that build up to cause someone to be insecurely housed. For Jacqui, the loss of her job and the breakdown of her marriage led her to become a member of the ‘hidden homeless’ population, as she was sofa surfing. This is when she sought the help of the Accommodation for Work project at BHT Sussex.

Jacqui first came to the project following her separation from her ex-husband. He retained the family home to look after their children as he was not working. After moving out, Jacqui stayed on her mother’s sofa and worked part time.

Soon after, Jacqui unfortunately lost her job due to the covid-19 pandemic and had to claim benefits. After a few months of trying, Jacqui eventually found work through an agency. However, Jacqui struggled to pay her rent as she had to contribute much of her earnings towards her children’s expenses.

Not letting her money troubles stop her, Jacqui continually worked hard and gained a promotion and a permanent role at work. This allowed her to repay the arrears on her rent and provided her with a much steadier income.

After her new promotion, Jacqui felt ready to start looking for her own flat but did not have the money for a deposit and one month’s up-front rent. Whilst working with her support worker, they came across a charity dedicated to supporting current and previous employees of a retail chain of shops where she had previously worked for over 10 years. With the help of her support worker, they put in an application for a grant. The application was successful, and Jacqui received enough for a deposit and a month of rent in advance, which allowed her to restart her search for a flat.

Through the hard work of both Jacqui and her support worker to keep moving forward, Jacqui found a flat of her own. She now has the means to have her children stay regularly, fulfilling her main goal when she came to the Accommodation for Work project.

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