The Resettlement Passport was developed by a group of support workers from Local Solutions’ Supported Lodgings services who wanted to better prepare the homeless young people they were supporting for independent living.
Who are Local Solutions?
Local Solutions is a charity working across the Liverpool City Region and North Wales with disadvantaged groups including homeless young people and families, people experiencing domestic violence and informal carers.
Why was the passport developed?
Our Supported Lodgings services had been supporting young people to move onto independent living for many years but we identified the need for a more structured approach. We were seeing young people returning to our services who had become homeless again; saw young people accessing our services with huge rent arrears and we became aware of the increasing hurdles people were facing taking on a tenancy due to welfare reform and the increased cost of living.
What happened next?
A group of support workers got together and started to write the course, consulting with our young people about their greatest hopes and fears for moving onto independent living. One of the areas that came up over and over again was concerns around maintaining the security of their property and this is why we included the 7thUnit on Security.
We also wanted to build better working relationships with the Housing Associations who were providing tenancies to our young people and so we approached them about endorsing the course. We received a warm welcome and 8 North-West Housing Associations endorsed the course.
We piloted the course in summer 2014 with young people and we started to hear that other organisations who were interested in using the course.
How did the online course come about?
In July 2015, One Ark, part of the First Ark Group, recognised the potential of this initiative and made a generous financial investment and provided support. This made it possible to fund a part-time development worker and funded the development of an online version of the course, that could be used nationally. We worked with Agent Marketing to develop a contemporary, interactive and easy-to-use online course. We held a launch event in November, 2016.
What happens with the profits made from selling the course?
Profits from sales of the course are going into a bursary fund for the young people supported by Local Solutions’ homeless services to help them furnish their properties and make a ‘house a home.’ With the withdrawal of community care grants, it can be challenging for these young people to set up their own home and this bursary fund will help meet this need.
Since then, we’ve been out promoting the Resettlement Passport at Housing and social care events and delivering training to teams of staff. We now have organisations in England, Wales and Scotland using the course.
We were delighted to be awarded ‘Highly Commended’ in the category of ‘Innovation of the Year’ at the UK Housing Awards in May 2018.
We want to keep developing this resource and getting it into the hands of as many people as possible. If you would like to work with us or have feedback on the course, please do get in contact.