Alleviating poverty, bringing hope

In September 2020, the NOAH Outreach Team received a referral for a male called Calvin. He was going through a relationship breakdown and was asked to leave the family home he had been sharing with his wife in Biggleswade for many years. He had nowhere to stay in the local area and didn’t want to move further away, as he wanted to carry on having contact with his young children.

If this wasn’t tough enough, the Coronavirus pandemic was having a huge impact on his career as a Carpenter. Work was drying up and he was struggling financially. As a result of his desperate situation, Calvin began to live in his van between his two suitcases and numerous work tools.

He made contact with the local council and explained his situation and was referred to NOAH. Calvin met one of NOAH’s Outreach Team members to see if he could get help. He was lost and desperate for help, and needed advice on how he could get back on his feet.

As he had worked all his life, Calvin assumed he was not entitled to any support or services. NOAH was able to give hope and suggestions for how to make things better.

NOAH’s first step was to ensure Calvin was not sleeping in his van anymore. The team were able to verify him as a rough sleeper, this meant that the Council placed him into temporary accommodation in Dunstable.

During this time, the Outreach Team helped Calvin apply for Social Housing. He wanted to have security and make a home where his children could stay overnight, and this was not possible with a room share accommodation.

As he was self-employed, he was not entitled to full benefits which meant he couldn’t even rent privately. Financially stressed, he borrowed money from friends to cover some living costs.

In January, and with support from NOAH’s nomination, Calvin was successful in being allocated a small flat in Flitwick.

He was proud to invite the NOAH team to his flat to show the decorating and progress he had made in his new home.

Calvin was extremely grateful for NOAH’s help and that he finally had a new home for him and his children.

Names have been changed and a stock image has been used for confidentiality.