Foundation finance boosts Crisis SmartMove

It is always good to see where housing charities are delivering on the ground.

To witness the impact of a recent award from the Dolphin Square Foundation, Rachel Whittaker, board member of the Foundation, and I recently dropped into the new home of Salma Murkab in Wandsworth who moved into her property thanks to Crisis SmartMove.

The Crisis SmartMove project has received £54,000 of funding from the Dolphin Square Foundation’s recent grant competition. SmartMove helps homeless people access good quality accommodation in the private sector through guaranteed deposits. 

The visit worked really well. Rachel enjoyed tea and biscuits with Salma as she learnt more about the work involved in the scheme.

Many people know that Crisis was founded in 1967 in response to the shocking television drama Cathy Come Home, and a publicity campaign highlighting the plight of London’s homeless.

However, what we are talking about in this instance is a specific project named ‘Crisis SmartMove’. This is for all intents and purposes a network of projects, delivered by local organisations under license from Crisis, providing homeless or vulnerably housed people with housing advice and access to accommodation.

I spoke to the Dolphin Square Foundation to find out more about the work Crisis SmartMove is doing following the grant award. They have been clearly encouraged by their work. They recognise the expertise and ability to share good practice that makes them stand out. The scheme supports single homeless people via deposit support and bond guarantees for private sector landlords.

Yet, the assistance involves more than the deposit support, ongoing support is available too. Salma has been receiving support from a Crisis SmartMove project worker, who has been providing regular advice and support. The process is really thorough and needs to be. It is hands on and highly supportive. So, before a tenant moves in, the project worker checks the property to ensure that it is safe and has an Energy Performance Certificate.

Importantly, help and advice is ongoing with monthly calls from a project worker to help the tenant deal with bills, benefits and other practical issues.

The funding provided by Dolphin Square Foundation makes a real difference and it was refreshing to see it. For Crisis it is in fact crucial. Without this support their ability to help people into accommodation would be severely restricted. 


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