People at risk of homelessness are being urged to get support from a newly-launched support service that has been branded an 'early lifeline'.
The early intervention scheme, funded by Milton Keynes Council with Citizens Advice Bureau MK (CAMK), has helped more than 160 people facing homelessness.
It was launched last year and has since been providing free, impartial and confidential advice to help those at risk of homelessness in Milton Keynes through telephone and online consultations. Specialist advisers are on hand to support with debt advice as well as universal credit and other benefits.
An in-person service is set to open from September following the easing of restrictions, Milton Keynes Council and CAMK are urging people at risk of homelessness to reach out for help as soon as possible.
Each case is assessed independently, and bespoke support is provided on a case by case basis. The service is aimed at people who are facing eviction, struggling with paying rent and bills, or are in need of general advice about their tenancy.
Mrs Maliki who is a single mother of three used the service last year after she was threatened with eviction. She said: “When I received my eviction notice I was very stressed at the prospect of becoming homeless with my three children. I was referred to CAMK who explained my rights to me and helped me prepare my defence which I subsequently won. I felt a lot calmer after speaking to my caseworker who further supported me with court forms. I am glad that I received a helping hand when I needed it most.”
Cllr Emily Darlington, Cabinet Member for Adults, Housing and Healthy Communities, said: “Our poorest and most vulnerable residents have been affected most by this pandemic.
"This support is an early lifeline for people whose tenancy is coming to an end or who are struggling to pay their rent. Colleagues have done a great job so far and I’d urge anyone who is facing difficulties to get in touch as early as possible.”
Anyone concerned about the possibility of becoming homeless should contact the service on 0808 278 7991 or click here.