Welcome to our Website
What is Doorstep?
DOORSTEP OF HULL is a registered charity providing accommodation for homeless young people and others. Our stated brief is "The care and support of people who are homeless and in need of help acquiring a settled way of life".
At the present time we have 260 bed spaces in and around the centre of the city of Hull, eight of which have been developed with a grant from the National Lottery Charities Board. The accommodation comprises of comfortable, furnished and well-equipped bed-sits and self contained flats situated in two, three, four, eight, and ten bedroom houses. We have also opened a purpose built hostel with 14 self contained flats in the East of the City. This was in partnership with North British Housing Association for whom we manage the property. We have also recently formed a partnership with a local private landlord whereby we lease properties to use for move on.
We have a programme of development that is on going. We are currently increasing the provision that we have for young families and single parents.
At Doorstep we are acutely aware that homelessness is not solely a problem of availability of accommodation. Equally important is having access to a network of support through which an individual can acquire the skills we all need in order to survive in society today and make a success of an independent tenancy.
It has also become apparent to us that the story does not end when a young person leaves our hostel. Indeed this is often the beginning, as during this period they will be faced with the first round of bills, building relationships with neighbours and so on. So we try, within our limited resources, to give follow-on support when needed. Ex-residents are visited regularly and have access to our resources until they feel confident enough to survive on their own.
Doorstep's Definition of 'Homeless'
--- or am I?"
Doorstep believes that a home does not just consist of a building. Any accommodation should be of a reasonable standard. It must also be a place where someone can conduct ALL the many aspects of living, in their own space, in security of tenure, and free from threat or harassment, physical or otherwise. It should be a place that is conducive to their well being and should satisfy their physical and emotional needs, at a price they can afford. Anyone lacking some or all of the above is, by our definition, HOMELESS.
Who do we help?
Doorstep of Hull provides good quality, short term, furnished accommodation with support, for homeless people in Hull.
We accept referrals from any source. Doorstep is also providing accommodation for single parents and their children. It was becoming apparent that when a young pregnant girl left Doorstep accommodation to have her baby, upon leaving hospital, the accommodation offered to her and her child was in some cases unsuitable. Doorstep decided that this situation had to be addressed as the experience was not good for either mother or baby and so, set aside 8 bedspaces to be available for young mothers to return to from hospital with their children. We felt that it was important that they could return to a known, safe, supportive environment.
We have recently expanded our remit to include homeless families. This was in response to the growing number of referrals we were receiving for this group.
Why are we needed?
People become homeless for a multitude of reasons. They may have been physically or sexually abused and feel that they can no longer tolerate a life of torment. They may be thrown out because they have left school and the family are no longer able to support them. They may be the victims of a family breakdown after which there is nowhere for them to live. The stories relating to and reasons for their homelessness are varied and often horrifying.
Once 'on the street', then sleeping out means literally what it says. Whether it be a concrete pipe on a building site, shop doorway, park bench, a derelict house or just walking round all night and day, the end result is the same. They immediately become vulnerable to attack and abuse and are always at the mercy of the elements. Crime, prostitution and drug abuse are often the inevitable consequences in the search for an escape from a desperate situation.
How we try to help.
This is the harsh reality of homelessness in Hull. Doorstep can only help a percentage of those who are referred to us. Although we can only guess at what happens to those we have to turn away, we try to ensure that those who do get a place with us receive all the help, information and support available, to equip them to survive in their independent tenancies. We have realised that one of the main reasons for younger people failing in their independent tenancies is due to a lack of life skills that many of us may take for granted. Shopping, cooking, cleaning, paying bills, managing money, living in a community are all skills that would generally be learnt within the family environment. If, for whatever reason, this learning process has been disrupted, it is not surprising that young people need help with coping on their own in an unfurnished flat on one of the outer estates. This is only one side of the support we offer. Help with sorting out benefits, linking-in with other agencies are all part of the work done.
We also provide 24 hour cover, ensuring that should problems arise, a worker is always available. Our emergency telephone number for after hours and weekends is (01482) 212163.
I'm homeless how do I apply?
We take referrals from any source. When a referral is received an interview is arranged with the member of staff who is responsible for the property where the vacancy exists. This interview will attempt to ascertain your needs, whether Doorstep can satisfy those needs and if there are any issues that may need addressing. It may be decided at this time that the particular vacancy is is not suitable and another may be offered in which case another member of staff may attend or another interview set up.
If an offer of accommodation is made either a 6 month licence or an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement, both renewable dependant on need, will be signed. Which tenure is offered will depend on the type of accommodation.
Your Support Worker will assist you in claiming any benefits to which you may be entitled.
Doorstep recognises that young people who come to live in our accommodation may have personal issues with regard to their homelessness which they may feel the need to resolve.
For example this may include sexual, physical, emotional abuse, mental health issues or learning difficulties to name but a few. We recognise our own limitations in this field and are aware we cannot be both provider and comforter. With this in mind your support worker will not enter into a counselling/therapeutic relationship with you but will make a referral, should you wish, to a specialist agency.
Doorstep recognises that moving towards independence is a process which young people who stay with us progress through and, as stated earlier, this may take a considerable time. We are therefore flexible in our approach to allocating properties. It is not unusual for someone to move within Doorstep to more and more independent accommodation as they become better able to cope.
Of course as with all things in life there are certain responsibilities that come with living in a Doorstep property. We expect you to treat the property and its equipment with care, co-operate with us to ensure any benefits due are paid and pay any charges on time (these vary according to the property and your circumstances). All properties are fitted with a fire detection system and in some cases extinguishers these are for your own safety and should not be interfered with. You will be responsible for the actions of anyone who visits you and niether they nor yourself should cause nuisance to others in the property or neighbours.
Unfortunately at this time we cannot allow pets in the properties however, caged birds and fish may be kept with the permission of your Support Worker and any person with whom you may be sharing facilities.
You will have access to Doorstep staff 24 hours a day. Your Support Worker will explain this to you when you move in to the property.
We will repair and maintain the property to a high standard. Emergency repairs will be carried out within 24 hours. General maintenance will normally be carried out every 4 weeks.
I've read this and would like to help. What can I do?
Not only do we need the help of the governments, councils and other large funding bodies but we also need the support of individuals such as you.
You may or may not already know much about the real facts of homelessness but now you have read this you may wish to do something about it.
As a registered charity we are always short of funds. We can and do get some public money but we have to raise thousands of pounds every year just to survive. You may feel you could send us something or organise an event to raise money to help. Any amount, no matter how small, will be received with great thanks.
Acknowledgement of their funding support in 2012 to:
- THE SIR JAMES RECKITT CHARITY
- THE HULL & EAST RIDING CHARITABLE TRUST
- THE JOSEPH & ANNIE CATTLE TRUST
- MRS L D ROPE 3RD CHARITABLE SETTLEMENT
- THE GARFIELD WESTON FOUNDATION