Starts At Home Day: Introducing Future Steps

Starts At Home Day is a celebration of the value of care and support services and the difference that having a safe and secure place to call home can make to people’s lives.

230830Thirteen Erin Feature  042

1 Sep 2023

Supported housing exists to ensure everyone in our communities can live their best life, whatever their circumstances. We wanted to take this opportunity to highlight one of our support services, Future Steps.

What is Future Steps?

Working in partnership with A Way Out, our Future Steps service provides support for ex-offenders across the Tees Valley, Durham and Darlington to help them settle back into society.

The service has been designed to support individuals to live long-term stable and settled lives, by helping them find and maintain the right accommodation, as well as access to specialist advice when needed.

Our dedicated tenancy support co-ordinators work with clients to provide tailored support plans and strive to tackle the stigma often associated with ex-offenders.

The stats

Since its launch in February 2022, Future Steps has exceeded targets and receives consistently high scores from customer evaluations. The team has:

  • Supported over 150 people through the service
  • Helped 91 customers to sustain a tenancy for three months or more
  • Referred 72 customers to employability services and a further 40 customers to training/education support
  • Assisted 97 customers with budgeting and debt advice, even supporting with setting up bank accounts
  • And much more.

Meet the team: Erin

Erin, tenancy support co-ordinator, shares what it’s like to work in the Future Steps service and the difference it can make to people’s lives.

Erin, tenancy support co-ordinator, leaning on reception desk

Tell us a little about your role

“The service has been put in place to help people to sustain their tenancies, whether that’s in a Thirteen property or private property. It’s about making sure they are comfortable and can pay their bills. We don’t want anyone to feel like they have just been left to get on with it on their own.

“After being released from prison, some people need extra support to integrate back into society.. Every client is different, so I spend time getting to know them and tailor support plans to make sure they are getting all the support they need.”

What does a standard day look like for you?

“No two days are the same, which is something I love about this role. My day can consist of anything from helping to set up bank accounts, booking appointments with the GP, right through to coordinating rehabilitation for clients who need some extra support with addiction.

“Recently, I have worked on an immigration case which involved speaking to the Home Office to try and get his status settled. It’s so varied because the clients are all so different.”

Do we work with other partners?

“Sometimes a case is so complex that it isn’t just a one person job, so bringing in other services that offer specialist support gives the customer the best outcome. One company we work closely with on a regular basis is The Moses Project.”

The Moses Project

The Moses Project provides guidance, mentoring and support to adult males with past and current addictions to drugs and alcohol. We caught up with chief executive, Brian Jones, to tell us more.

“We work very, very well with Thirteen Group and Future Steps. They have use of one of our rooms to meet with their clients and sometimes, their clients also begin working with us.

“Some of them come out on our Monday walk and talk project, we’ve supported people into rehab and we also have contacts in housing, so we work together with Erin and the team to find suitable accommodation for Future Steps clients when needed.”

We asked Erin why she thought this type of work was so important.

“I just think there’s a massive benefit in working with people who are vulnerable or need that extra helping hand. Not everyone has a support network around them, so being able to help someone and see them change their life around is really rewarding.”

No matter what the circumstances, supporting communities #StartsAtHome.

Find out more about Thirteen’s Future Steps service or learn more about The Moses Project.