We received a phone call from an employee at Standard Life who was concerned about a man she had met begging on the street. Norman* had fled accommodation in East Lothian that he used to share with his ex-partner. His ex-partner had a new relationship and this man was threatening him. We were able to respond quickly due to the nature of our street based service, the ‘Homeless Navigator Project’, and luckily we reached Norman within an hour of the initial report of concern.
Norman was new to rough sleeping and wasn’t aware of his options in relation to his housing. We spent some time building up a relationship with Norman so we could see how we could help him move away from the streets.
As Norman was an open housing case in East Lothian, Edinburgh Council didn’t have a duty to help him into accommodation. We supported Norman to call his Housing Officer in East Lothian, with a view to closing his case and tenancy in East Lothian and being transferred to Edinburgh. This would allow Norman to access a homelessness assessment in Edinburgh and work towards finding secure accommodation with support from ourselves and City of Edinburgh Council.
Unfortunately, Norman can’t sleep in the free Bethany Care Shelters as he has a dog, but we have advised him of measures he can take to stay safe and where he can eat for free. We’ve also supported Norman to access the free vet, who has given him a warm coat for his dog.
At the time of writing, we’re waiting to hear a decision from East Lothian Council before we take his case to Edinburgh Council. We’re hopeful that we can support Norman to successfully navigate his way through the system and to move away from the streets.
For 50 years Cyrenians have journeyed with thousands of people like Norman in tough realities, helping them transform their own lives for themselves, but there is still much to do. Please click Donate to support our continued work in this, our 50th year.
*Name has been changed to preserve anonymity