Preventing Homelessness in Reading

CEO blog July

Our tenant who is off to university shortly has had her first book list. On discussing the list with their Support Worker, she was concerned about her outgoings before she even got to University. Our trustees stepped in and paid for her book list and we have told her that any issues over the next three years she should come back and talk to us. Like any good parent, family or community, just because you have left (Launchpad) does not mean that we have forgotten you or that you no long matter to us. She is part of our community.

In September 2016 Sarah was evicted from her property. She has two children and long-term physical illness. She was moved into a B&B by Reading Borough Council. She found it immensely difficult with her physical health and making sure her children stayed at the same school.  The family had to move several times as B&Bs changed hands or closed. Eventually with work from her Floating Support worker and in conjunction with Reading Borough Council she is moving into her own accommodation, which includes a stair lift. She now hopes that her family’s life will begin again.

Renting property and making a complaint is a risky business. One of our Floating Support clients had lived in a property for nine years. There was a fridge freezer in the property and it stopped working. He contacted the landlord told them about the problem and asked for a replacement fridge freezer. The landlord’s response was to evict the tenant, effectively giving him and his family six months to find a new home. If they can’t, they will be homeless in the New Year 2018.

Grenfell tragedy, a terrible and appalling loss of life. My experience of working with some housing associations is that they have a careless approach to health and safety. It would appear that money is more important than safety.

Websites

Why we don’t need zero hours contracts >

The crisis no one talks about! One can only imagine what would headlines would be like if public school children were being murdered in similar circumstances >

Best film of the month

Hackshaw Ridge. Interesting film showing how a conscientious objector won the Congressional Medal of Honour for bravery in the Second World War.

Book of the month

Birds Without Wings. Paperback by Louis de Bernieres, a very powerful, thought provoking book.