John came to Rentstart at the beginning of March 2017. He had worked as a refuse collector for 16 years, but lost his job in December 2016.
John had been living with his partner for 20 years, but when she died ownership of the house reverted back to her family. He was forced to find alternative accommodation and was renting a room in a house. When he lost his job, he was no longer able to pay the rent for the room, and needed to leave the property.
John had always worked and was unaware of the benefits that might be available to him. He was unable to get help from the authorities as he was not in priority need. John had been sofa surfing and sleeping rough for several weeks before he went to the Citizens Advice, who immediately called Rentstart.
When John came into Rentstart’s office at Charities House, they were able to carry out a full assessment. He had only just applied for Job Seekers Allowance and had no money, so they bought him food (he had not eaten for some time) and essentials. A room recently became vacant in one of Walton Charity's multiple occupancy houses so, within a couple of days, the Rentstart team moved John into the property and helped him apply for Housing Benefit to cover his rent. He settled in well and now has a secure place to live, and is determined to find work to enable him to become independent again.
He had been unable to get help from the authorities as he was not in priority need