Sarah found herself sofa surfing in September 2017, as she was unable to continue living at her childhood home. She managed to secure supported accommodation by January. After almost a year of staying in supported accommodation, she was referred by a friend to Homeless Rooms Birmingham.
How did you find the application process for Homeless Rooms Birmingham?
“It was quite easy. The application wasn’t hard to understand and it was asking really basic details.”
How long did it take between making your application to moving in?
“It took a couple of minutes before I got a phone call from Mark to arrange a risk assessment which happened a day or two after I applied. It took about two weeks to get everything sorted and to sort out paperwork where I was to tell them (supported accommodation) that I was leaving.”
How do you feel living here as compared to your last place?
“It’s better and I prefer it here.”
Why would you say that it is better?
“I would say it’s more of a smaller space so it’s a bit more comfortable and I don’t need to worry about anything over here as I can speak to whoever I need to speak to and not have any problems. If I do have a problem, I don’t mind speaking to the people here because they’ve been in the same situation as me.”
After years of suffering with poor mental health and stress, Ali decided that he had to leave his family home, even though he had nowhere to go.
“What happened that meant you could not stay at home?”
“It was like a prison for me, and over the past four years I have had mental health issues with depression and anxiety, it was mental torture at that house. I had to leave, and I stayed firstly at my friend’s house, sleeping on his sofa over the weekend.”
“Then it was college that helped you apply to Homeless Rooms Birmingham?”
“Yeah, I sat down with my support worker on Monday, she helped me apply through the website. Later that day, I spoke to HRB on the phone, then on Wednesday I viewed three properties and moved in here later that week. Overall, the whole process took around eight or nine days”
“How have you found your new home?”
“This is a lot better than where I used to live. It is good quality, and it’s a really nice area, not too far from my college”
Ali is currently in the last year of studying Computing at college. Without Homeless Rooms Birmingham, he would have had to give up his studies to work full-time and rent his own place, or face sofa-surfing and insecure accommodation. He cites Homeless Rooms Birmingham as helping him leave a difficult situation:
“I have slept better here this week than in the whole of the previous four years at home”
Chris found himself at risk of homelessness after leaving university accommodation. He was not allowed back to his parent’s house. The very real threat of homelessness caused him a lot of stress.
“Could you describe what you had to do to after you realised you might become homeless?”
“I had to apply for Universal Credit in order to get the cheaper rent. For that period of two weeks, I was pretty stressed about not having anywhere to go. Having to apply for Universal Credit was pretty daunting for me to deal with alongside the thought of becoming homeless.”
Luckily, he was referred by a friend to Homeless Rooms Birmingham
“Could you describe your experience of using Homeless Rooms Birmingham?”
“It took about 2 and a half weeks from signing up on the website up to being assigned the room. I’d say that the whole process was quick and efficient.”
“How would you describe the quality of your new home?”
“Good quality. What I would say, definitely, is that the rent as compared to the quality of the house is brilliant. I would say 8/10.”
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the interviewees.