"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke" — Isaiah 58
We want to try and understand, through our work, what breaking ‘every yoke’ means because breaking one alone is rarely enough to release someone from oppression.
We try and measure and monitor our ‘success’ through our ‘outcomes’ (see below) — but before you get to that it is probably worth hearing how one of our tenants defined success because we will never capture them in 7 statistics!
Success is different for everyone. As far as success goes for the homeless its not as simple as putting a roof over their head because the walk of their life probably has been a difficult and complicated one.
So success can only be measured by an individual at an individuals own pace.
Success could be the healing of an angry emotional wound. It could be learning to love yourself. It could be finding peace. As far as modern society goes it is about being able to hold down a job, abide by the law and be presentable. That is great if life were that simple. But any step in the right direction is a success.
April 1st 2017
With that caveat here is our best, albeit floored, attempt at capturing a measure the tenants successes for the year ending April 1st 2017
In total we gave a home to 152 people last year. 13 of them were children. Of the 139 adults, 18 were evicted. Our average length of stay is 266 days. Of those that moved on: 16% went to a friend, 31% to private rental, 21% to social housing, 6% to a relative and 26% to ‘other.’
Abstaining from crime
89% of those who had previously been in custody, abstained from crime. We housed 36 people who had previously been in custody of which 4 returned to custody. Many of our other 133 tenants would be at risk of crime and only 1 of those went into custody. 1 of our tenants was removed from the police ‘prolific offenders’ list.
Reducing alcohol or drug intake
81% of those with previous drug / alcohol misuse improved their intake. 57 (41%) of our tenants had a previous relationship with the drugs/ alcohol of those 11 have worsened!
This year also we have had to cope with new drugs on the market which added a challenge.
Improved social relations with their family
82% have improved family relations. 114 out of our 139 adults. We have focused on this much more this year as we feel it is vital to a sense of well being.
Volunteering education or training
47% are involved in volunteering, education and training. 65 of our tenants volunteered.
Got a job
23% have got a job. 32 of our tenants have managed to get a job. We found that single male refugees are much more likely to get work.
This year we have focused a lot more on financial management: 92% have a bank account, 71% are paying water regularly, 46% by standing order and 85% are either addressing arrears they have or are free of rent debts!
In the year ending April 1st 2016
In the year ending April 1st 16 we have grown from 26 homes to 36. The maximum number of tenants we housed at any one time was 78. The total we housed over the course of the year was 132. This is an increase in over 50% for the previous year.
12 of the 132 tenants were evicted. 42 moved on well. Our average length of stay is 330 days. Of those that moved on: 9% went to a friend, 5 to a hostel, 37% to other, 25% to private rental, 2% to rehabilitation, 16% to a relative and 9% to social housing
Abstain from crime
We housed 39 people who had previously been in custody. 4 returned to custody – one of whom then returned to our house and we continue to work with him.
Reduced their drug intake
Of our 132 tenants: 10 have worsened their use of drug or alcohol. 56 of our tenants previously had had a relationship with class a drugs or abusive relationship with alcohol: of those on 9 (7%) worsened their use.
Improved social relations with family
51 of our 132 tenants have significantly improved / repaired their relationship with their nuclear family.
Volunteered, education or training
40 of our tenants have done volunteering, undertaken education or training.
Got a job
20 of our 132 tenants have got a job and maintained it for more than a month.