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Innovative Self-funding Forever
To set up and run an income generation project to provide support workers to residents of dispersed hostel accommodation (shared houses) for homeless single people.
To become financially self-sustaining, and therefore able to rehouse more rough sleepers.
The company leases (and renovates) vacant properties to bring them into use as supported hostels for the homeless.
The hostel properties are self-funding ie the rental income pays for the hostels (rent and running costs) but there is no funding for the provision of support workers to assist the residents. This cost cannot be covered by Housing Benefit payments (it is against Housing Benefit rules), so external funding is needed.
At present there are 29 rooms (bed spaces) in the dispersed hostel accommodation in Sheffield. There are currently only funds for two support workers, and this is limiting the number of rooms which can be offered (and thus limiting the number of homeless people who can be accommodated).
If funding could be secured for the provision of more support workers then they would be able to bring more properties into use and house more of the City's homeless population.
There are properties available, and when the company is ready to take them, there is no shortage of referrals from homelessness organisations, the only thing that prevents them from housing more rough sleepers is the lack of funding for the provision of support workers.
The company is trialling an innovative project which will enable them to fund the support workers. The project is a utilities brokerage service which will source the best deals on utilities for companies, charities, and organisations, thus saving them money on their overheads, while also generating a commission income for the company, which can then be used to pay for the provision of support workers to the hostels.
In time, it is hoped the commission income will cover the full cost of the support workers, and enable the company to lease more properties to house the homeless ie the project should become financially self-sustaining.
The company requires funding to administer and market the utilities brokerage service until such time as it has built up a customer base that generates sufficient income for it to be self-sustaining (which will then lead on to it meeting the aim of funding the support workers who assist and support the hostel residents).