Housing Solutions for People in Custody

SHE Project’s first year has been an eye opener in the world of housing. What is apparent is a lack of knowledge around housing as a social & community need from services involved in community supervision of people released from custody.

Any person’s environmental needs are that of their home environment. The word *environment* is misunderstood.  Plastic carrier bags are to be charged for. Media has the masses believe it’s for the benefit of the environment. Nonsense. Amid a corporate battle of economic need, major supermarkets are warehouses of people with money to spend. In a flash, media has us, believing it’s harm reduction to the environment. Rather like bottled water phenomenon. It’s healthier.

A person’s environmental need is a home and with that comes safety, affordability, an environmental need.

Meeting such a need is an immense responsibility.  Housing providers have a monumental task in providing structually safe buildings and SHE Project takes over from there.  As a supported living service,  we have a full in-house service covering a person with a genuine need for safe & stable accommodation.

SHE PROJECT has had a battle on her delicate fair maiden hands. This battle is long from winning a war. In each property of three women, that’s three sets of keys for each woman. Plus a spare set, this costs money. It takes 16 hours for one woman to sign legal documents, settle in, have a course in how the boiler works, who to call in an emergency and a raft of support, no more so for a woman coming from prison.

I’m often viewed as a landlord. By other services.  Referral processes show me this, clearly. Probation are happy as SHE provides an address for licence conditions. Local drug support services call our office up asking if we can help with a person who is in need. I’ve raced up there & find a person clearly under the influence of substances with a key worker requesting I sign the confused person immediately.

I kick off at this point. A tenancy agreement is a legal document. Police would not interview a person under the influence, why are services expecting SHE to coerce a vulnerable person to sign a legal document?

SHE has worked hard over the last year. Having had the zeal of anxious Probation Officers, Police, Drug Support services treating us as landlords, look within your own environmental needs and next time your boiler breaks down & you need someone to come out, remember,  those coming from prison have the same needs as you do.

Also remember this when you expect SHE doesn’t know what SHE is talking about.

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