Ecstatic with the huge step he made, Liam emotionally described the feeling of opening his first bank account with support from our staff: ‘I’ve never felt like I had an identity until today.’
Liam’s support worker Graham commented: ‘He’s been given such a morale boost. He’s really grateful and feeling accepted now, it’s the little things we take for granted that mean so much to our people. Little things can lead to big changes.’
From setting up bank accounts to providing benefit advice and more, our Financial Capability team is a vital part of our Crisis Service operating from our Basis homeless drop-in centres, supporting people with money management.
Thanks to your support last year we supported 5278 people through our homeless drop-in centres. Learning to manage their finances is a key step for many of the people we support on the journey out of homelessness. Just like Liam did.
What is financial capability?
Sonia, Financial Capability Project Team Leader, explains that, ‘the Financial Capability Service we offer is essential to enable us to support and educate the people we work with. It helps build the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to take control of their finances. This has been vitally important during the Cost-of-Living Crisis.
‘We support a lot of people who are experiencing severe financial hardship, for example where they are unable to pay their rent or struggle to pay fuel bills and buy food for their families.
‘We recognise that this can be a very frightening position to be in, and so we can provide support to maximise their income and ensure they are receiving their full benefit entitlement. We also work with them to reduce their expenditure, deal with any debts, and prepare a realistic budget plan which takes away their stress and worry and enables them to move forward.’
A key part of our Financial Capability service is working with people to ensure they are accessing all the benefits available to them to help them back onto their feet.
Thanks to support from Leeds Building Society Foundation our team has been able to enable people to access their full benefit entitlements meaning around £200,000 of additional income has been secured for people struggling with homelessness April 2023.
Not having a bank account is a real barrier to accessing employment, training and housing. Not having a home address makes applying to set up a bank account almost impossible – excluding people experiencing homelessness.
Our Financial Capability team works with the people we support to help set up bank accounts, thanks to HSBC’s No Fixed Abode Account Scheme. This service has provided the people we support with an essential tool to better manage their finances.
Our teams wouldn’t be able to support the more than 1300 men, women and young people they support each year without your generosity.