Restoring hope and dignity through quality housing and support

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Changing things for the better...

Changing things for the better...

Having misused illegal substances and getting into financial difficulty, Jane thought her problems would never end…

“I was at risk of losing my tenancy due to being in financial difficulty and misusing illegal substances. I tried to improve things in my life, so started volunteering at a local RSPCA as I love animals.”

Jane was on benefits at the time but the RSPCA asked her to do more hours. Jane began to get paid for it and although it wasn’t a large amount she didn’t declare it. As a consequence, Jane got into trouble with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the result was that she received an 18-month probation order.

“I had to repay the money to the DWP which they deduct from my benefits every fortnight. I also had to repay money back to the Housing Benefit Agency due to an over payment. This meant I became in arrears with the local housing provider. My mum had not long passed away and I felt so lonely and bereaved. I used heroin to cope as well as being on methadone every day. I was in debt with credit cards.”

Supported by her case worker, Jane was referred to the Citizens Advice Bureau and rent and arrears repayment programmes with the local housing association were put in place. To ensure that Jane maintained the agreements she was taught the skill of budgeting.

To help cope with more personal issues Jane attended a confidence building class and spent time with a bereavement counsellor, to help her come to terms with the loss of her mother.

“I am managing my finances much better. I have paid off some of my debts and have had others reduced. I continue to seek support from the Community Substance Misuse Team and have now completed my heroin and methadone programme. I am hoping to volunteer for them soon. I am coming to the end of my probation and now have a cleaning job. I am happier now than ever before.”

Jane from Staffordshire