CEO blog June

This month Ian Caren talks about our work to house people in emergency accommodation during the pandemic, a returning client who found himself in desperate need of support again and a client in supported housing who has overcome his demons.

There was a nationwide effort to place all rough sleepers into emergency accommodation, such as hotels and B&Bs, following the outbreak of COVID-19 – which was an essential move in protecting people who are homeless and extremely vulnerable from the pandemic. But what happens now? Our support teams have been working closely with Reading Borough Council over the last few months to move these individuals in desperate need of accommodation into our supported housing – so they have a safe and stable home, an allocated support worker and a support plan to get them back on their feet. We have housed a total of 18 people in COVID-19 emergency accommodation to date and will continue to work furiously to get more people housed over the coming weeks and months.

Carl left Launchpad about ten years ago, moved into his own accommodation and appeared very settled. Last week he called our drop-in service because he was in desperate need of support. A year ago he’d suffered a stroke, lost his job and was evicted from his home – so he lived in tents and garages for months and months. Our floating support team managed to get him placed into Reading Borough Council temporary accommodation and he’s now been assigned a support worker, who will help him address his issues and live independently once again.

William has been in our supported housing for over two years. With lots of hard work and our help, he no longer drinks, he has his drug misuse issues under control and he has a part-time job. William is now ready to move onto more permanent accommodation where he can manage his own tenancy and live independently, without our support. He has a small one-bed room flat and we wish him all the luck for the future. When the staff were talking about William, they all had a smile on their faces – he is a popular person!

A few recommendations from me:

Book of the month: The Hyperion by Dan Simmonds

This book won the prestigious Hugo Award and is a version of the Canterbury Tales – but in a different time in the future. It is a fantastic read!

Boxset of the month: Black Earth Rising

A brilliant story of a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, who was brought up in Britain trying to find out what happened to her real family.

Important moment of the month

Taking the knee at the Black Lives Matter demonstration in Reading. It was incredible to see so many young people committed to trying to create a fairer society. We cannot ignore the racism ingrained in our society.

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