North Warwickshire Borough Council: Household welcome bundle
The council developed this project to help homeless people who are in temporary accommodation, with nothing to their name, to obtain household furniture when they were granted their first tenancy. The council partnered up with Emmaus, a homeless charity with a base in Coventry, who have their own furniture warehouse and are helping to provide the council with white goods and other furniture needed to set up a home.
They have also worked with Edible Links who are the local food bank who operate a Social Supermarket- enabling people to get their shopping at a fraction of the price. By working with them the council can access two weeks’ worth of food from the food bank for these vulnerable residents, and then provide a further week free of charge from the social supermarket.
This allows these residents to sort out all bills and gives them a start to the tenancy that does not involve them getting into debt. The council also links them in with its “Step into YOUR Tenancy” guide, which helps them to understand their liability for bills and how to make sure that they are set up from the start to avoid any arrears accumulating.
The scheme has helped 18 individuals and 15 families to get on their feet and have a good start in their new tenancy without the pressure of trying to get credit to furnish their home. At this early stage, the council has taken referrals to the project from their Housing Options Team who deal with homelessness. It has therefore not been widely advertised. The council are keen to expand on the project by encouraging the community and staff at the local authority to donate furniture and household goods to the scheme so that it can become self-sustainable.