Kemar was evicted from his accommodation in November 2019. He had been working for an agency but was unable to pay his rent as his hours had been reduced.
He began to run out of options and ended up sleeping rough on the streets of Watford with very little to keep himself warm, except from a coat and thin blanket. Kemar’s belongings were wet and dirty and he was unable to dry them. He slept in wet clothes and this continued as the cold winter temperatures were plummeting.
On one cold morning, a street outreach team in Watford met him as he was packing up his belongings. They were able to direct him to a local centre for rough sleepers where he received a warm sleeping bag and a survival bag. He had a cooked breakfast, access to a bathroom and was given a packed lunch each day. During his time on the street he had been unable to shower, so he was pleased to feel clean again.
By January, Kemar was staying in non-permanent accommodation which allowed him to sleep inside every night. He was also given hot food and breakfast but this abruptly came to an end when lockdown began.
Kemar was then housed in a hotel where we had two hyh support workers placed. They were helping the service users in the hotel during lockdown. This enabled service users to be supported with benefit claims and look at their moving on options, whilst not having to worry about where they would sleep or if they would be safe that night. It also meant they had their own bathroom facilities, which was a first for Kemar since being evicted from his accommodation.
Whilst in the hotel, hyh supported Kemar in making a successful Universal Credit claim which gave him more financial freedom. We also helped Kemar identify available accommodation options for when lockdown ended. After looking at various possibilities, Kemar decided that he would like to live in a working community. We helped him apply for a bed at Emmaus and his application was successful. He thanked us for all our support and said he was looking forward to gaining new skills whilst living and working at Emmaus.