A BHT Sussex project that helps people who are homeless to get off the streets and into employment has successfully secured an additional three years of funding from the National Lottery Community Fund. The project, which is called Accommodation for Work, is the only one of its kind in the city, and provides temporary accommodation and support for people who are homeless and working or looking for work.
The Accommodation for Work project has been running for the last ten years and has housed 330 people over that period, in shared houses in Brighton and Hove. Residents are supported by key workers to explore their skills and employment goals, and to access training, voluntary placements, and jobs. Over the last year, 76% of residents have been in paid work despite the pandemic and associated challenges.
Holistic support is offered at the project so residents can focus on their health and wellbeing, maintain or find work, and make plans for finding more permanent accommodation. Residents are helped to explore different work and learning opportunities, access benefits and navigate the complexities of being in and out of work. This puts people in a stronger position to maintain work and tenancies in the future.
The Accommodation for Work project has helped people like John, who became homeless last year when his relationship broke down. He slept in his car for months before seeking help and moving into the project’s shared accommodation. With strong support and a settled place to stay, he was able to maintain his relationship with his daughter and sustain work as a pharmacy delivery driver, helping vulnerable customers to get their medication during lockdown. John made full use of all the support available and within ten months had moved out of the project into his own flat. It had been a long-term dream of his to become a postman and he has now achieved that goal and is loving his new job. He said:
My whole way of thinking has changed since moving into the Accommodation for Work project. I always thought I was on my own, but speaking to people I’ve realised there is a lot of help out there, and that’s the important thing to know. Everyone needs help at times.
Bernadette Lynch, Project Manager at BHT Sussex said:
We are so proud of everything our residents achieve and grateful for this further support from the National Lottery Community Fund, which will enable us to help more vulnerable people find security and a home. People are often shocked that you can be in work and still homeless but, sadly, that is the reality for too many in our city. This project addresses a pressing local need and helps people who are homeless get back on their feet in a sustainable way.