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HOMELESS SUPPORT CHARITY RECEIVES HELPING HAND

A role designed to provide invaluable support for Islanders experiencing accommodation difficulties is continuing apace, with the help of the Manx Lottery Trust (which has been delegated to distribute National Lottery money that has come from The National Lottery Community Fund).

It has extended its support for Housing Matters so the charity can employ a dedicated housing support worker for a further 12 months.

It follows a three-year pilot scheme, also backed by the Trust, during which Housing Matters helped locals in need secure places to live and provided them with tools to manage and maintain tenancies.

The dedicated support worker also helps those preparing to move into local authority housing, as well as those leaving hospital who require specialist accommodation.

The charity, which has been awarded a grant as part of the Trust’s Community Awards initiative, is expecting an increased workload following the Covid-19 pandemic as it aims to help people apply for and attain affordable and suitable housing.

It has developed close working relationships with professionals in social services and with the Island’s local authority housing departments.

Julie Marshall, Homeless Projects Development Manager at Housing Matters, said: ‘The support of the Manx Lottery Trust is invaluable to the charity and the work that we do in assisting vulnerable people here in the Isle of Man. Its continued support enables us to provide ongoing services to those in need and facing housing crisis.’

Housing Matters was formed to offer advice and guidance around housing matters to people living on the Isle of Man, as well as tailored support to enable clients to re-settle and sustain accommodation. It undertakes assessments to fully identify housing-related needs; provides flexible support in a variety of settings, including people's homes; develops outcome-focused support plans and nurtures, maintains, and co-ordinates effective working relationships.

Chairman of the Manx Lottery Trust, Sarah Kelly, added: ‘Housing Matters is an invaluable resource for so many in the Island and we are very happy to help the team improve the quality of its service provision and increase community awareness of its services.’

Manx Lottery Trust has assisted the charity in a number of ways in recent years including funding for its mental health and wellbeing support service, through a Thematic Funding grant.

There is a proven link between being in housing crisis and suffering from a mental health issue. Recent studies on the Isle of Man, which produced a comprehensive health audit amongst those living in housing crisis, showed that 94% of participants in the audit had reported a mental health issue. Fifty-eight per cent had a diagnosed mental health problem.

More information about Community Awards grants and how to apply can be found on the Manx Lottery Trust website by visiting: www.mlt.org.im/grant-programmes/

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