Aspire – July 2018
Oxfordshire, so widely perceived as a wealthy and privileged county, is facing a growing homeless crisis. The number of rough sleepers in Oxford city has increased by 50% year on year since 2013 and Oxford City Council states that 100 households now approach them every month reporting as homeless and in need of support. Aspire is a core part of the homeless pathway in Oxfordshire, and we know from experience that once people are caught in the vicious cycle of homelessness it can be very difficult to find a way out. That’s why we are thrilled to become part of a new, multi-agency homelessness prevention project known as “Trailblazer.”
About Trailblazer: preventing homelessness
Trailblazer is a brand new service working across Oxfordshire to provide early intervention advice and support for anyone at risk of homelessness, funded by a new government programme. Aspire is providing a team of “Community Navigators” who will work across Oxfordshire to reach people at the earliest warning signs of homelessness, before crisis point is reached. The team will offer brokerage advice and support on issues around tenancies, debt or finding employment, working with a wide range of other agencies, as well as access to Aspire’s wider employability support where needed.
Sue contacted Aspire’s Trailblazer team when her mother went into a care home and she was given notice on the two bed housing association property she had lived in for 30 years. Sue was extremely vulnerable at the time and very worried about her future.
Aspire was able to give Sue support and advice about finding alternative accommodation, worked with Shelter to get Sue on the housing register and successfully found Sue a new home where she is now settled.
Since starting the Trailblazer project in April 2018, our Trailblazer team have supported over 40 people like Sue, helping them to stay in their homes and access the support they urgently need.
We need your help! As part of our support offer to help protect people from becoming homeless, we want to set up a new homelessness prevention fund to help cover rent arrears to prevent eviction, training, funding to help a move, laptops to help our clients manage benefit claims or emergency food.
This practical support makes all the difference in enabling people to maintain their housing and access longer term help and advice. You can make a real difference to people at risk of homelessness when it’s needed most.
If you’d like to support Aspire’s Homelessness Prevention fund, here’s how you can get involved:
- Organise a fundraising event: we can provide lots of help, support and promotion
- Make a donation
- Get your college or club involved
- Spread the word and get others on board
To find out more about how to get involved in helping us prevent homelessness in our community, please call Helen on 01865 204450 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.