Our housing team works incredibly hard every day helping people who find themselves homeless or on the brink of becoming homeless. It is a difficult and demanding job but one that is carried out with dedication and compassion.
To mark World Homeless Day one of our housing officers describes a typical day in the job.
I arrive at work at 9am, have a quick coffee and read an email regarding a placement of a person by the out of hours officer overnight. The customer had gone through a relationship breakdown with their partner and has a medical condition so required placement in a B&B. I made contact with the customer and arranged for a taxi for them to come for interview at 11am.
Half an hour later I received a call from another council regarding a customer who has been sleeping in their car but has a connection to Wychavon. I arrange for them to self refer on the internet and then call to arrange an assessment. I also complete a referral for an emergency hostel placement.
While I am waiting for my customer to arrive I answer several calls relating to Home Choice Plus and queries relating to bidding for properties.
At 11am the customer arrives and I complete a full housing triage and assessment, develop a personal housing plan, complete a housing benefit form, and Home Choice Plus application and medical assessment. I extend the placement at the B&B and ask for the customer to be allocated a housing officer. A taxi is called to return the customer to the B&B and I get in touch with the ex-partner to see if clothes and ID can be retrieved.
After a quick break for lunch, I receive a call from a very distressed customer telling me they have been evicted from their private rented property with their children and pet. After taking as much information as possible I contact the landlord to confirm the eviction, which sady does turn out to be the case.
I try to arrange B&B accommodation but explain to the customer the pet won't be able to go. with them. They become very distressed and mention past involvement with drug support services. A referral is made to children's services.
Having confirmed the B&B placement for the evicted customer, I arrange for a housing officer to visit the following day to complete the various applications and for an outreach officer to visit and offer help with finances and retrieval of possessions.
The day ends with more calls from customers regarding various housing issues including overcrowding. I ensure all emergency customers have notes attached to their files and head home, after another demanding day.