Homelessness support through social enterprise services

This month we were featured in the Greater Manchester Poverty Newsletter for our social enterprise work... Since this article we have completed 4 further painting and decorating jobs and 6 more  Move Ons, with local support agencies referring us to their clients. We look forward to the further development of this work and the positive impacts it has for our service users and the local community.

"H3 (Helping the Homeless into Housing) was set up as a user group in 2012, originally made up of Stockport Homes’ temporary accommodation residents. As the group grew and took on the form of a registered charity it offered more support services for people experiencing homelessness in Stockport.

Some of its work follows a socially enterprising model; H3 runs a ‘Move On’ Removals Service for people moving out from temporary accommodation and into permanent housing and a Painting and Decorating Service to support people to enjoy and value their new property.

“They’ve made my house into a home – it would never have looked or felt this this without H3"

This work not only offers volunteering and skills opportunities to residents experiencing homelessness in temporary accommodation, but helps bridge the gap when people are able to move on. This can be a difficult transition and the alleviation of the financial costs associated with moving is of real benefit. H3 offers these services free to those moving on from homelessness, and part subsidises it by providing these services in the community to tenants who might need help moving items or re-decorating. Beneficiaries are able to move without high costs, which in most cases would be impossible to manage without credit. They are also able to make their house their home cheaply and relatively quickly – helping to settle in a period of change.

In 2016, H3 volunteers supported 26 ‘Move On’ removals out of temporary accommodation, saving an estimated £40 per household. H3 volunteers have completed 9 painting and decorating works saving an estimated £150 per household. 10 moving jobs and 4 painting and decorating works were provided to the general public and charged on a donation basis. Due to the low running costs of both services, H3 required just £400 in grant funding over the entire year to make up the shortfall in costs. In the future, H3 aims to run both services without the need for grant subsidies and has begun new partnership work with the Stockport Local Assistance Scheme (SLAS) through their Handyperson Awards.

Stockport Homes has been supporting the social enterprise work of H3 for the last 5 years – notably through the post of a Charity Support and Development Officer and gifting a van to get the Move On service up and running. Through close partnership working Stockport Homes continually provides referrals and engages residents to volunteer and benefit from this service."

See the full edition here.