ForHousing helps Kirsty find a new home for her and her baby

Kirsty was studying at university when she became pregnant. Kirsty found being pregnant whilst living in University Accommodation very difficult, so she decided to return to care leavers services for support.

The 19 year-old wanted to move into her own home to raise her baby, but she needed some financial support to enable her to do that as managing the costs of moving into and maintaining a home is a huge challenge, especially with a new baby and continuing her studies.

Next Steps, Salford City Council’s care leaving service contacted ForHousing to discuss Kirsty’s needs. A partnership between the two organisations means that support can continue for care leavers until they reach 25 years old.

Through the partnership Kirsty was initially offered a one-bedroom apartment, but the team were aware that once Kirsty’s baby was born, she would be entitled to a two-bedroom home.

To help Kirsty avoid having to move twice with limited resources and placing her under further financial pressures, we offered her a two-bedroom apartment with the initial support of a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) to make up the shortfall in rent until her baby was born.

This meant Kirsty could move in knowing that she would be living there long term and make a home for her and her baby.

Care leavers services said: “The support we’ve had from ForHousing in helping Kirsty move into her own tenancy has been great. All staff involved have taken time out to reassure Kirsty, and myself, so that the move was not traumatic.”

However, Kirsty didn’t have any furniture and with a very limited income was struggling to buy everything she would need for herself and her baby.

As part of the Greater Manchester Care Leavers Trust, we have pledged to offer greater support for those people leaving care. Currently, care leavers have to make a homeless application to get a tenancy and find themselves more at risk of issues such as homelessness, poverty and poor health.

This meant that Kirsty could be given some extra help to set up her home, and we provided her with carpets, furniture some white goods for the kitchen and even helped her decorate.

Care leavers services continued: “Because ForHousing have carpeted and decorated the property, and even provided a furniture pack, meaning Kirsty now has the chance to experience an easy transition in starting her life at a new home.”

In preparation for her new life, Kirsty was enrolled on the Resettlement Passport programme, an online learning course which enables young people to gain the skills and confidence they need to manage and run a home.

Kirsty’s support worker said: “Kirsty loves her new flat. It’s so quiet and the location is great with easy access to the local shops. She thinks it’ll be a great place to settle with her baby.”