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When everyone has a home

Housing and debt helpline for Northern Ireland – 028 9024 5640

Helping Jenny secure suitable accommodation on release

One of our prison housing advisers recently helped a vulnerable client secure suitable accommodation on her release from prison.

Jenny was in prison following an arson offence on her previous home. Before this she had lived a relatively settled life.  She did have one other previous conviction prior to the arson offence but following the death of her husband her mental health had deteriorated, culminating in her trying to set fire to her home.

While serving her sentence, Jenny also spent a few months in a mental health facility before being returned to prison.

Jenny was referred to our prison adviser prior to her release to assist with securing appropriate accommodation.  Our adviser secured her homeless points, and advised the Northern Ireland Housing Executive that they had a duty to house Jenny. Because of Jenny’s arson offence, finding suitable accommodation on release was going to be difficult. 

Identifying Jenny’s needs

Our prison adviser felt that given Jenny’s needs and vulnerabilities, hostel accommodation was unlikely to be suitable and supported accommodation would be more appropriate. Our adviser liaised with the Healthcare team in the prison to detail mental health needs and requirements. Following a number of representations to the Trust, the Trust accepted a responsibility to provide supported accommodation meaning that that Jenny would be “Under the care of the Trust” on her release.

Before her release, the Manager of a Trust Accommodation came to meet with Jenny, and on the morning she was in Court they agreed that if she was released that she would have a bed in his facility.

On the day Jenny was released, the Housing Rights prison adviser made sure that her new Community Mental Health Support Worker would attend and bring her to her new accommodation and help her settle in. 

If you need assistance in securing suitable accommodation for you clients, you can call our agency housing helpline on 028 90245640 and select option 2.

Tagged In

Social Tenancies, Adviser

Author

Frances McGrath