Ark Housing is one of a small number of housing associations in Northern Ireland who provide temporary accommodation and directly manage support services for homeless families. The Homeless Services team has played a critical role in the smooth running of this essential service during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The team of 21 staff provides a front-line service to families who have found themselves homeless through no fault of their own. More than 1800 families in Northern Ireland have been supported by Ark, helping them through some of the most difficult times in their lives and assisting them through the transition from temporary to permanent accommodation.
During the public health crisis, Ark Housing had to adapt its services to ensure that families, who were already under stress, received the help they needed. Community partnership-working was strengthened and post- Covid-19, Ark will be building on this to benefit the families they support.
Ark Housing Homeless Services team has:
• Made 4000 telephone calls to families to check on their welfare and support assistance.
• Sent out daily emails with updated information on important subjects, including the pandemic status, how to maintain physical and mental health and tips on how to keep the children occupied.
• Delivered 336 food parcels to residents, in partnership with local food banks.
• Ensured that all eligible families received the school dinner vouchers.
• Worked with local schools so that children were able to get connected to the internet to complete schoolwork at home.
• Provided IT equipment for home-schooling to those families who did not have the resources in partnership with local charities.
• Gave out nearly 300 activity packs to the children.
• Contacted families, who had moved on, to determine if any support was needed.
Ark’s Homeless Services team consistently delivers despite the challenges they face; they are true heroes. Go to https://www.arkhousing.co.uk/ for more information.