- Date: 21/02/2023
Our supported housing team, over at homelessness charity Concrete, has now supported 118 people at risk of homelessness in Cheshire East.
The service began nearly three years ago and is based in Crewe. It delivers both supported housing and floating support to people across the borough. Both teams work closely to offer a wide range of support to customers in our properties and living independently.
The supported housing team work with customers living in our homes across Cheshire East. They work alongside other agencies to guide them towards independent living. Once customers have achieved that, the floating support team step in and continue to deliver less intensive support to help them maintain their tenancy.
Data from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities revealed that in the year 2021-2022, 1,430 households presented as homeless in Cheshire East, as reported by the Northwich and Winsford Guardian. It’s all too easy to turn a blind eye, but our teams in Cheshire East say there is a ‘huge need’ for homelessness support in the area.
Tenancy Sustainment and Support Officer Lynda joined the Supported Housing team in 2021. Her role involves supporting customers living in Concrete’s 24 properties across the borough. That includes a mix of houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs), independent houses and flats.
“I always refer to our service as a stepping stone,” says Lynda. “That’s exactly what it is – a stepping stone towards independent living.
“The majority of the people who come to us need that space to have some respite and just breathe after going through difficult and uncertain times regarding their home. We work with them to put a plan together and help lay the foundations of an independent life.
“We support and guide customers, but we also educate them. Part of our role involves teaching them and making sure they are picking up those independent living skills that they need for their next chapter.”
Within Cheshire East, we work with other organisations, including probation, children’s services and mental health organisations, to make sure customers have complete wraparound support that works for them. The team also mentor customers and help them improve their personal skills, such as confidence, communication and self-esteem.
“Individually we never take full credit for a customer’s success,” said Lynda. “It’s always a team effort, whether that’s within our team or a partner organisation.
“We’ve all had an input somewhere in a customer’s journey – that’s the beauty of it.
“In Cheshire East we have some great connections. Everyone works together in a really positive way to make sure customers have everything they need, whether that’s food, furniture or finances.”
Our Cheshire East service has no restriction on age or gender and has supported individuals, couples and families.
Lynda continued: “Seeing the change in people, from when they first come to us, to when they move on, is just amazing.
“To see someone who has had nothing and perhaps lived on the streets, to then moving into their own home and being independent, it’s wonderful. We watch them bloom.”
Find out more about Concrete by visiting: www.thisisconcrete.org.uk