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In the news: Rough sleeper success story after council referral

A man who was sleeping on the streets of Basildon after being released from prison is now in permanent employment and living independently after a referral by Basildon Council.

John, whose identity is not being revealed for privacy reasons, was identified on the street by the council's community outreach team in April 2020 after being asked to leave the place he was staying by a member of his family after his sentence ended.

The outreach service ensured that he approached the relevant services for his housing need as well as assisting with benefit applications to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), mental health support and drug and alcohol support by Open Road.

After a full housing needs assessment the council was able to find John suitable and affordable permanent accommodation. With the financial assistance of Basildon Council's Rent Start scheme, John was soon moved into his own property. A referral was made to Peabody, which provide ongoing 'in-reach' support to all former rough sleepers who move into new accommodation.

As his support needs reduced after finding work, Peabody agreed with John to step down their support in January 2022. John has now been offered a permanent contract by his employer and is enjoying his return to work and living independently.

Chairman of the Housing and Estate Renewal Committee Councillor Andrew Schrader said: "John's story really is a great example of the difference we can make to people who think that all hope is lost. To get John back on his feet again and into permanent accommodation and work takes a lot of good partnership working. My congratulations to John and well done to all those involved in achieving this brilliant outcome that has undoubtedly changed a life for the better."

ENDS

Published Tuesday 15 March 2022