Steve* was supported into his new home by Thirteen Group after experiencing homelessness upon his release from prison. His support worker, Laura, applied for a Vicar’s Relief Fund grant to secure the house he now lives in.

Steve*, like many others, was released from prison to homelessness. After losing his accommodation while he was serving his sentence, Steve faced the difficult task of finding a home upon being released.  

“When I got out of prison, I’d lost my property – I had nothing but the clothes I went to prison with.” 

This wasn’t easy – often people struggle to find private or social accommodation upon release from prison. For Steve in particular, there was an additional challenge. He was keen to leave the area he’d been living in before, as he was looking to move away from the negative influences that had led to him offending previously, and such he relocated to a new area. This made things more difficult, to his lack of local connections.  

All of this meant Steve spent weeks without a home. He stayed in cheap hotels and at points, was forced to sleep rough on the streets. Luckily though, Steve had his support worker, Laura, to help. Laura works for Thirteen Group, and worked hard to secure Steve a property – and to help him get the fresh start he wanted.  

“I was released in April, and then I got allocated Laura – which is absolutely the best thing that ever happened to me really, because without Laura I wouldn’t be where I am now.” 

Laura managed to secure Steve a property in his new area – but another barrier cropped up, as rent arrears from a previous tenancy prevented him from being eligible. However, this is when Laura applied to the Vicar’s Relief Fund for a grant to cover a debt relief order. This small grant meant that Steve could move into his own house, giving him the stability he was looking for.  

“I’m settled in there on my own – it’s a lovely area, it’s quiet, it’s really beautiful to be honest” 

Since, Steve has been settling in and making the house home. He now has all of the essentials he needs, and he’s been enjoying having his family over to visit. In his peaceful new home, Steve has been reflecting on how far he’s come. 

“At one point, I had nothing – I was just sleeping on the floor. Coming from that to what I have now, I’m proud of myself” 

*Names have been changed to protect privacy

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