Home for Good during lockdown
Home for Good is The Passage’s resettlement support scheme. Community Volunteers are recruited to support people in their local area who are settling in to their new accommodation after experiencing homelessness. During regular social meetings, the volunteer accompanies and supports their client to explore the local area and new opportunities, helping them to build connections and a sense of purpose to reduce the risk of them becoming homeless again. The support scheme also runs a weekly Sunday Social Club, where individuals can get together to share Sunday lunch, read the Sunday papers, play board games, and take part in regular group visits to places of interest.
The coronavirus outbreak has meant that the service has had to adapt quickly, moving the majority of face-to-face meetings online, with extra emotional support and practical advice being provided over the phone or video chat to help people struggling to adjust to the challenging new lifestyle change. In some cases, we have delivered food parcels and clothing to clients if they have been shielding, or have not been able to source these themselves.
John and Judith
Judith: Lockdown disrupted our emerging rhythm of meetings. We had just visited Pitshanger Manor and Gallery in Ealing and both really enjoyed the experience, and were making a mental list of places we could start visiting once the weather got warmer. I managed to obtain a recycled bicycle for John (my estate management firm was removing disused bikes from the estate and I found a bike that was in good shape and saved it from being thrown away, my partner who is an avid cyclist did some maintenance on it to ensure it was safe) and this was really going to help with his mobility.
So, being told from one day to the next that we cannot meet face to face put a lot of questions before us. I reached out to John on the phone and we had a good chat about this new reality. Then we established a regular day and time for a chat. Even though we couldn’t see each other, it was still very good to hear John and know he’s doing well and adapting to the situation. Also having a bit of a moan about the new crazy reality was cathartic! John is a brilliant conversationalist, with a wide range of interests and a philosophical attitude to life, so it’s always interesting to listen to what he has to say. He’s been missing his rides on the bike so we are looking forward to being able to meet for a bike ride [this happened at the weekend].
John: Judith and myself had met a couple of times before lockdown and we were beginning to explore Ealing together, as I had no local knowledge and Judith knows the area well. We have kept in touch with phone calls twice a month since then, which have been good, along with the support from the Home for Good team, who helped me get a TV set at the beginning of lockdown which has made it easier to bear. I met with Judith again on Saturday 13th June for a socially distanced bike ride around Brentford, and it was really good to meet up again in person.