We arrange and pay for bed and breakfast, one night at a time, for clients referred to us by our voluntary sector partner agencies. The average length of stay is only 2 nights; this gives both client and agency a bit of breathing space and time to seek other solutions.
Andy was referred to StopGap by one of the nightly soup runs in Sheffield. He had been sleeping rough in a disused school building for some time. After losing his job, he was thrown out by his partner – who remained in the family home with their children. Andy wanted to stay nearby, so he could see his children on their way to and from school, but without an address of his own, he was forbidden access to them by the courts.
After just one night in StopGap accommodation, which gave him a shower and laundry facilities in addition to a good night’s sleep and a cooked breakfast, Andy gained the confidence to go and apply to the city council for housing. In due course this was successful and Andy managed to establish his own home and eventually regain regular access to his children.
Just one night in safe, warm accommodation made all the difference in his case.
Brian, who had also lost his job and subsequently fallen into rent arrears, was referred to StopGap by one of the day centres working with homeless people in the city.
After a couple of nights in a warm bed, the welfare officer at the centre was able to find him supported accommodation at Emmaus Sheffield where Brian is now said to be doing well. He has regular work and is making friends with some of the other residents.
Christina found herself in a desperate situation when her partner suddenly became very aggressive toward her. She had come with him to England from Bulgaria after he got a UK work permit. Being from Bulgaria, Christina was not able to access public funds and so she was not eligible for help in a refuge for victims of domestic violence.
When homelessness seemed like a certainty, StopGap was the only organisation in Sheffield able and willing to keep her safe and off the streets while longer term arrangements could be made.
These are just some of the examples; there are so many other similar cases