Preventing homelessness in Reading

Meet Sophie*

Sophie is in her early 20s. She and her two young children, age five and seven, moved in with her mum to care for her when she was dying of cancer.

When her mum died, Sophie was evicted. Due to a lack of suitable housing, she ended up living in a B&B. Emergency B&B accommodation should be short term. Sophie and her children ended up there for two years.

In the face of adversity, Sophie was bringing up her children brilliantly. The three of them lived in one room, with no bath, cooker or garden.

Sophie was referred to Launchpad’s Floating Support Service (the national name for a service that helps prevent homelessness) and Carrie, her Launchpad Support Worker, worked really hard to find the family suitable accommodation. Hours were spent at Reading Borough Council, visiting potential properties, searching online and building relationships with landlords. Eventually Carrie and the family visited a two bedroom flat with a garden. The landlord was so impressed with Sophie’s well behaved children that they were offered the tenancy.

Carrie’s hard work didn’t stop there. She found funding for a washing machine and fridge for the home. For nearly a month the family only had two mattresses. Sophie and her young son took turns, spending one night on the sofa and one night on their mattress.

The family are still doing well, feeling settled in their home and very grateful to Carrie and Launchpad for all the help.

Launchpad’s preventing homelessness service

Floating Support is the national name for a service that prevents homelessness by helping people with a range of challenges. The service can be for anyone, including single parents, families, couples and single people. We help people find somewhere suitable to live. Those stuck in emergency B&B accommodation get help searching for long-term accommodation. We work to keep people in their home, by working with other local housing providers and landlords to avoid evictions. We help with benefits, budgeting and debt advice too.

We support over 200 people with the Launchpad Floating Support service, for between 3 and 6 months each. Our Floating Support aims to helping people settle down and achieve stability, to gain the skills, confidence and understanding to break out of difficult situations.

This help is available via a referral by Reading Borough Council or a probation or social worker. If you think you need this service, come to our Drop-in and we can help you to get referred.

* To help protect the privacy of those we help names have been changed