Homes at the heart: settled futures

We’re supporting the National Housing Federation’s Homes at the Heart campaign. This week we’re focusing on ‘settled futures’, exploring the vital role housing associations play in preventing homelessness, and supporting people to secure long-term accommodation.

Dave Burrell, Manager at Heathfield House, reflects on how vital this work is:

“Arthur* came to Heathfield House as a referral from Leicestershire County Council. He was lucky to be alive.

“He’d been sleeping, along with his friend Tim*, under a bridge next to the canal. One night there was a lot of rain. The canal breached its banks and Arthur was swept into the water.

“Arthur had been drinking heavily that night to help him sleep and he was unable to save himself. Thankfully his friend and a passer-by were able to rescue him from the canal and he was taken to hospital.

“Initially homeless following financial difficulties and the loss of his partner, Arthur was lucky to be alive. The two friends were given a safe place to stay at Heathfield House, each with their own flat.”

In the centre of Leicester, Heathfield House offers 24 self-contained flats to people experiencing homelessness. They accept referrals from across Leicester City and Leicestershire. Support staff are on hand 9am-5pm in the week; they work with residents to rebuild their lives and help them move into independent accommodation. Since the project opened in 2015, 75 people have successfully moved on to more secure, settled futures.

Arthur has now received a provisional offer on a flat and is due to move out any day. His friend Tim has also secured other accommodation and is beginning a new life with a new family.

For both gentleman, a story that could have ended in tragedy has a happy ending.

At NCHA we provide accommodation and offer floating support for people experiencing, or at risk of homelessness across Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. 

*Names have been changed to conceal identities.