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‘The problem we solve is about to get worse’ - Social enterprise to beat homelessness launches bid to stay open

PUBLISHED: 08:32 01 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:14 01 April 2020

The social enterprise company, Your Own Place, tackles homelessness in Norfolk. Picture: Nick Stone / Your Own Place

The social enterprise company, Your Own Place, tackles homelessness in Norfolk. Picture: Nick Stone / Your Own Place

© Nick Stone

A social enterprise which tackles homelessness in Norfolk has launched a Crowdfunder over fears it will shut due to coronavirus.

Rebecca White, CEO of Your Own Place, warned there is a risk the company will simply shut if £10,000 is not raised.

The company addresses homelessness in Norfolk by providing bespoke courses ran by highly trained staff which focuses on skills for independent living.

Your Own Place is launching online and telephone training during the pandemic. Picture: Nick Stone / Your Own PlaceYour Own Place is launching online and telephone training during the pandemic. Picture: Nick Stone / Your Own Place

But since March 17 and the escalation of the Covid-19 pandemic, the company stopped face to face activity.

Efforts have now been made to take the training online and over the phone to support all existing people.

Your Own Place has launched a Crowdfunder to stay running during coronavirus. Picture: Your Own Place / Nick StoneYour Own Place has launched a Crowdfunder to stay running during coronavirus. Picture: Your Own Place / Nick Stone

But the company needs to raise money in order to build an e-learning platform and to support existing mentees and mentors, some of whom will be redeployed to help with the coronavirus crisis.

Ms White said: “We are hearing twice as many safeguarding concerns as normal as people fear for the future and the present. Homelessness will rise because a whole range of jobs won’t come back. The problem we exist to solve is just about to get worse. And if we are muffled we are not entirely sure we will be able to come back.

“We want to keep staff in the job rather than furlough people and the problem is if that happens help to the community will stop when it is needed now more than ever.”

Your Own Place was founded in 2013 and has worked with over 750 people across the county who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The company uses a training scheme called tenancy and independent living skills plus (TILS+), which supports people in a number of ways including tenancy, paying bills, cooking and getting online.

It is normally delivered through face-to-face learning in small groups with an emphasis on fun and engaging training.

Each course is tailor-made to the person’s needs and can last from a few hours to days.

Mentoring schemes, which involve volunteers, are also in place.

To donate visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/needed-now-more-than-ever


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