Case Study 2

ABOUT OUR CLIENT:

  • 34 Year old single mum with one dependant child at home
  • Suffers from a very rare and complex syndrome which prevents her from processing information;
  • Referred by Family Caseworker;
  • Lives in private rented accommodation;
  • Threatened with eviction due to non-payment of rent;
  • Property is off gas, of solid wall construction and rated under EPC C;
  • Property is rurally isolated.

When our Advisers first met the client, she was at immediate risk homelessness. The Council found her intentionally homeless due to rent arrears. The Wiser£money team quickly identified that the client was not intentionally homeless but struggling because of her mental health needs and inability to process information. We represented the client and our challenge was accepted by the council and this resulted in the tenancy being saved. The council specified that they were only willing to help the client into more affordable housing if she sought help with her finances.

The client had also accrued gas, electricity and water debts totalling over £2,800 – she was struggling to keep a roof over the family’s head and pay utilities to stay safe, warm and well.

The client was unable to get the intensive support and advice from any other agency. Wiser£money was the only agency that could respond quickly enough and meet the complex needs on a practical level.

Quote from client:

“I wish you all the best and I am grateful for all the help you have given me, and for believing in my vision. Ie you never said any of my goals of success were outlandish or anything and I respect that.”

The case was very time consuming and challenging, but our Adviser and Mental Health Caseworker worked with the client to gather all of the necessary information about her situation and agree a realistic budget. Initially our Mental Health Caseworker visited the client at home weekly to assist the client in maintaining payments and managing her budget. Our Advisers discussed suitable strategies to help the client manage her future finances and gave advice on priority spending and money saving tips.

The adviser talked through the pros and cons of the debt strategies available to the client to help her make an informed decision about how she wanted to resolve her financial difficulties. The client did not want to pursue a formal debt option at that time, but favoured an informal debt management plan. It was the first time that the client had  received any advice on how to manage money and, although highly intelligent, she had no concept of the value of money or consequences of using credit.

We were able to provide her with some basic financial capability skills to help her to recognise a priority debt and how to use a simple budget plan to pay bills each week.

We worked collaboratively with a wide range of agencies to ensure the client had access to on-going support with her mental health and housing needs. We secured Discretionary Housing Payment and Warm Homes Discount for the client and worked with the client to apply for Watercare scheme.

FORMAL OUTCOMES

  • Fuel debt written off though charitable grants -£2,800.77
  • Tenancy saved
  • Child remaining at home
  • Discretionary Housing Payment £167.70
  • Warm Homes Discount £140
  • Watercare Tariff – 25% discounted water charges
  • Client registered on Priority Services Register

CLIENT OUTCOMES (OUTCOMES IDENTIFIED AND REPORTED BY THE CLIENT):

  • Feeling more useful and relaxed;
  • Improved skills and knowledge to deal with problems;
  • Being able to think more clearly;
  • Feeling more confident and cheerful;
  • Able to keep home warm in winter;
  • Feeling more in control and improved confidence about managing finances in the future.