Greg had fallen though the gaps in the social security net before he visited a CAB. He had been living under a tarpaulin for the previous month after moving from an island to the mainland in the north of Scotland to seek work. Unfortunately, he had not found work, was sleeping rough, and was surviving by living off the land.
On the day he visited his CAB, he had walked miles to seek help from his local council. However when he was told he couldn’t get an appointment to see a housing officer until the following afternoon, he turned to his local CAB. By the time he arrived Greg was freezing and starving and had only 70 pence to his name. He had also walked for miles and was facing a total round trip that day of 20 miles.
The CAB phoned the housing department who said they would get back to the adviser. The adviser then phoned the local youth hostel to see if they had rooms available, and was advised that they did for £20 per night. After a great deal of negotiation, the council’s housing department eventually agreed they would pay if the youth hostel would send an invoice. The bureau also got a food parcel for Greg from the social work department so he could eat and helped him make a homelessness application.
The CAB also spent much time trying to access a Scottish Welfare Fund crisis grant which they managed when Greg visited the following day before his housing appointment. The CAB had to argue that being homeless for a month with no food was an ‘exceptional circumstance' and so Greg met the criteria for a crisis grant. He waited in the CAB for over four hours for the application to be processed and was eventually awarded £45.00 and was told he would get a further £21.00 hardship payment at his appointment at the Jobcentre the following week.
Greg used the time while waiting at the CAB to look for jobs, and applied for one as a milk man. His application was successful, and he was invited for an interview.
As a result of the CAB’s help, Greg got a temporary roof over his head, food to eat, and enough money to get food and travel to the Jobcentre 30 miles away for his JSA meeting, as well as an interview for a job.
You can depend on your local CAB.