Providing our service users with good quality accommodation is just one of our charitable aims. Recently, we’ve been very busy assisting beneficiaries into new homes, so we thought we’d break the process down for our readers.

Firstly, we get a referral from one of the many agencies we work with in Hull. For example, this could be a family who has been recently awarded a flat or house from Hull City Council. From here, our work is twofold: we help them with the move-in process, and continue to provide a much-needed support network for that family.

As is the case with a lot of homeless services, once an individual or family has left the care of that service and has been placed into accommodation, the support and communication stops. Hull Homeless Community Project strives to integrate our beneficiaries back into the community by working with them for as long as required.

After receiving a referral, we can now start working out what our client needs. By looking through their history and reading their wish list, we can put together a plan to help them move into their new home.

For some, it’s often a simple food parcel, whereas others may need a few household items, such as white goods. But sometimes people are placed into properties and have absolutely nothing. In this case, we will need to fully furnish and even decorate the house before they can move in. Every situation is different and it all depends on their situation, such as whether they are in work or eligible for benefits to have money to support them.

From here, we get to know the client as quickly as possible through an informal meeting or phone call. Typically, we only have a week to organise the move, especially with council properties, so it can be a very fast-paced process.

This is where you guys come in and the community side to HHCP really shines. We are passionate about allowing everyone the opportunity to make a positive difference to people’s lives. We usually put out an appeal on our social media channels, giving our volunteers and supporters a brief story about the client and a list of things that they are in desperate need of.

Several local businesses have also kindly donated their time and materials for free or at a very reduced price. We use Community RePaint, located on Hessle Road for a lot of our houses.

Meanwhile, we have recently invited bigger companies to help with the manpower behind our projects. A team of 15 people from ARCO helped with one of our latest move-ins. It gives staff a chance to give something back to the community and is great for team bonding. They can see the fantastic impact of their hard work at the end of it too. It’s a very rewarding experience.

A home is very important. One thing we frequently see is the revolving door of homelessness. Many people who are put into independent living have come from an institutionalised situation and have very much been looked after. Once they are put into a house by the council, this support structure ends and it can be very easy for the situation to turn sour again.

HHCP, on the other hand, supports the transition into independent living. We help our users to gain a sense of security and belonging. We want to inspire social confidence and raise aspirations. Sometimes, this comes in the form of a cosy home and someone to talk to on the end of the phone.

We want to make their new houses into something that they can be proud of. This way, they are less likely to fall back into the threat of homelessness. Our ultimate aim when rehousing people is for it to get to the point where our beneficiary tells us that they don’t need us anymore. We don’t set criteria or timelines, we just support them until they are ready to go it alone.

At the end of the day, shelter is everyone’s primary need as a human being. We just ensure that this shelter is warm, safe and loving.