insights

Stonewall Housing Customer Charter

What you can expect from us:

 

1. We will listen to you  

 

  • We will respond to your initial enquiry within 2 working days
  • We will make time to listen to you
  • We will be polite, empathetic and try our best to understand your needs
  • We will arrange an interpreter for you if required
  • If you tell us we have made a mistake we will try our best to fix it and admit when we have got it wrong

 

2. We will respect you

 

  • We will not judge you
  • We will respect how you identify and use terms and pronouns that you feel comfortable with
  • We will respect your confidentiality and won’t share your personal information without your consent

 

3. We will be here for you

 

  • If we need to meet with you to discuss your case we will do this as soon as possible
  • We will make sure you aware of how to access our services
  • We will be here for you and on your side

 

4. We will advise you

 

  • We will give you with sound legal advice you can trust
  • The advice we give you will be specific to you
  • We will be realistic with you about your housing options
  • We will try our best to offer advice in a way you understand

 

5. We will support you

 

  • If we advocate for you we will make sure you are in control
  • We will help you get the support you want in your life

 

6. What we expect from you

 

  • We expect you to treat our staff with respect
  • We expect you to keep us updated on any significant changes in your case
  • We expect you to be open and honest with us about your situation

 

Posted on 21 June 2016 by Hamish McDonald

Category services advice

Jigsaw caseworker for LGBT Young People (Under 25)

Galop and Stonewall Housing are currently recruiting to two exciting roles as part of the LGBT Jigsaw project, funded by London Councils.rnrnrn

About LGBT Jigsaw

LGBT Jigsaw is a partnership between Stonewall Housing, Galop and The Albert Kennedy Trust. We all have specialisms in working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) young people. We also work with young people who are questioning their sexuality and/or gender identity. The organisations that are part of LGBT Jigsaw have made a commitment to work together to achieve better outcomes for young people.

About the London Youth Gateway

LGBT Jigsaw is proud to be part of the London Youth Gateway. Funded by London Councils, the London Youth Gateway is a partnership between New Horizon Youth Centre, Alone in London, Depaul UK and Stonewall Housing(the LGBT Jigsaw lead agency) each established providers of services to young homeless people. For more information please visit London Youth Gateway.


 

Part time LGBT Jigsaw Advice Worker Stonewall Housing (ref SHJ01)

£13,551.50 including Inner London Weighting per annum
17.5 hours per week 
Scale 27 (contract until 31st March 2017)

Stonewall Housing’s services include supported accommodation, housing advice services and specialist projects that focus on youth, older people, rough sleepers and domestic violence and abuse. We also provide training, carry out research and advise at a strategic level on the housing issues affecting our communities. At the heart of our work is the aim to help people find a safe and secure home.

All positions at Stonewall Housing are filled by people who are committed to challenging direct and indirect discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people from all sections of our communities.

Stonewall Housing’s Advice Worker will provide high quality, comprehensive housing advice and undertake casework which meets Advice Quality Standards, carrying a personal caseload of clients. The Advice Worker will work closely with other partners to ensure clients access all the services they need. The Advice Worker will prepare, deliver and evaluate group support sessions on a range of issues for young LGBT people.

 


 

Part Time LGBT Jigsaw Young Person’s Caseworker- Galop (Ref. Gal007): 

£10,841.20 including Inner London Weighting per annum
14 hours per week 
Scale 27 (contract until 31st March 2017)

Galop is London’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community safety charity. We give advice and support to LGBT people affected by homophobic and transphobic hate crime, sexual violence and domestic abuse and are a driving force in changing the way the police work with our communities.

As a partner in the LGBT Jigsaw Partnership, Galop is recruiting to the post of Young Person’s Caseworker. The Caseworker will provide emotional and practical support to, and advocacy on behalf of, young LGBT people affected by violence and abuse, or at risk of abuse. The Caseworker carries out initial assessments and refers on to both internal and other external partners, in addition to holding their own case load. The Caseworker will also carry out quarterly workshops with young LGBT people designed to raise awareness of safety, consent and rights.  The successful candidate will have experience of providing advice, advocacy and support in welfare, LGBT rights and/or domestic abuse.

The Advice worker will provide emotional and practical support to, and advocacy on behalf of, young LGBT people affected by violence and abuse, or at risk of abuse. The Caseworker carries out initial assessments and refers on to both internal and other external partners, in addition to holding their own case load. The Caseworker will also carry out quarterly workshops with young LGBT people designed to raise awareness of safety, consent and rights.


 

How to Apply:

Please apply with a CV and a covering letter of no more than 2 sides of A4 that demonstrates your skills and abilities for the posts as identified in the relevant Person Specification.
Please indicate in your covering letter if you wish to be considered for both positions.

For the Galop post, download the Job Description & Person Specification here.
Please mark the application –Ref. Gal007. You can submit your application by email to recruitment@galop.org.uk or post to: Galop, 2G Leroy House, 436 Essex Road, London, N1 3QP

 

For the Stonewall Housing post please download the Job Descriptions and Person Specifications here. Please mark the application – Ref. SHJ01.   info@stonewallhousing.org or post to: Stonewall Housing, 2a Leroy House, 436 Essex Road, London, N1 3QP

Closing date: 9 am Monday 16th May 2016
Interviews: Week commencing 23rd May 2016

If you would like an informal discussion about these post please call:
Galop: Peter Kelley on 0207 704 6767
Stonewall Housing: Michael Nastari on 020 7359 6242.

 


Posted on 30 April 2016 by

Category youth LGBT housing services advice

Save your Services

London Councils are currently looking into whether the grants programme should could continue past 2017 and if so what it's priorities are. We are calling on our communities to help save our service

Thanks to London Councils funding Stonewall Housing has worked in partnership with a range of other LGBT organisations working with thousands of LGBT people across London to help them live happier, healthier and safer lives.

Our current partners under London Councils include:

Stonewall Housing

Galop

Albert Kennedy Trust

PACE

Broken Rainbow 

LGBT Switchboard 

London Councils is a key, important funder of services for LGBT Londoners. Without funding from London Councils, these vital and life-saving services for LGBT Londoners will not continue.

London Councils are currently deciding whether to continue their grants programme past 2017, and if so where cuts could be made.

Please can you respond to the consultation and help us to fight for the continuation of your LGBT services

services. It will take about 30 minutes to register and complete.
Closing date is next Friday 02.10.15.


Ways to help:

1. complete this 3 min survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/B5KWR8C  Deadline is Friday 2nd October at 10.AM


2.If you have time complete the full survery see below, this option will take about 30 mins. 

Your support will help secure future funding for LGBT people who have been through a dreadful experience..

Thank you for your support in protecting London’s LGBT services. 

We have created template with the answer that can be cut and pasted into the online survey. Feel free to adapt this to something that suits you.

DOWNLOAD TEMPLATE

 

LINK Visit London Councils site to complete

 

Please join us in campaigning to save our services. 

Posted on 28 September 2015 by Bob Green

Category youth LGBT housing supported housing services research older LGBT housing LGBT domestic violence advice

LGBT Rough Sleepers: #SH30/20

Our CEO Bob Green spoke to Gaydio about the Homelessness Transition Fund award that we've been granted: this will improve services for rough sleepers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).

We are delighted about this grant because rough sleeping is becoming a major problem for the communities we serve. 10% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people that approach us for advice and support are living on the streets. This project will raise awareness of the issues faced by the LGBT communities and share innovative solutions across three cities: London, Manchester and Brighton. With this grant we will be able to bring together homelessness agencies, councils and LGBT groups, and involve LGBT people who have experienced homelessness themselves, to reduce the number of LGBT rough sleepers.

 

This is number 20 in a series of 30: Stonewall Housing at 30.


Posted on 8 November 2013 by Hamish McDonald

Category services

Food bank

We are now a referral agent for the foodbank scheme.

We will issue you with vouchers that can be exchanged for shopping bags full of essential foodstuffs at various foodbanks. For the moment, this scheme is only available for LGBT people in financial hardship living in the following boroughs:

  • Barking and Dagenham
  • Hammersmith and Fulham
  • Lewisham
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Newham
  • Redbridge
  • Richmond
  • Vauxhall
  • Waterloo
  • Wimbledon

We expect that the following three boroughs will be added to this list soon:

  • Islington
  • Hackney
  • Wandsworth

For further information , please contact us on 020 7359 5767 or info@stonewallhousing.org.

Further information about the scheme can be found at the Trussell Trust web site.  

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Maria Sookias

Category services

Developing pan-London services

We want to build on the success of our work, and are aiming to develop four new partnership projects.

In the last 30 years, we’ve housed and / or given housing advice to over 14,000 LGBT people from every London borough. We want to build on the success of our work, and are aiming to develop four new partnership projects: for LGBT advice and support; for LGBT domestic abuse advice; for young LGBT people; and to improve services for LGBT people who have experienced domestic abuse. 

LGBT advice and support project: many LGBT people can’t rely on traditional family networks. We believe a targeted housing support service can help to reduce their social isolation, and ensure they can sustain their tenancies and achieve their full potential. We’ll do this by developing a partnership with Shelter, Advice UK’s BME Advice Network, and the Royal Association for Deaf People, so that LGBT people will receive the best housing advice, tenancy sustainment, and group support programmes. 

LGBT domestic abuse partnership: our role in the partnership is to deliver AQS standard housing advice via our phone line, virtual helpline and our drop-in surgeries, so we can support survivors of sexual and domestic violence. We’ll also take an active role in developing contacts with refugees and other housing providers, so LGBT people who have experienced domestic violence are able to access safe, appropriate accommodation. 

LGBT Jigsaw: many young LGBT people are unable to access advice, advocacy and support services from mainstream service providers. Our role in this partnership is to lead three other LGBT organisations (Albert Kennedy Trust, Galop and Pace), while providing AQS standard housing advice and advocacy, as well as  supported accommodation. We also provide advice and advocacy for survivors of domestic abuse and harassment, one-to-one and group work support, tenancy sustainment, training and developing employment opportunities. 

LGBT domestic abuse forum: unlike the partnership, the forum acts at a second-tier level, strengthening links between researchers and voluntary and statutory agencies, in order to improve services for LGBT people who’ve experienced domestic abuse. We keep organisations updated and informed about the latest research, best practice and significant policy changes as a result of the 2012 Equality Act. 

Remember, our advice line is open on 0207 359 5767, or you can drop-in to one of our surgeries every week. All venues are accessible, and interpreters are available on request.


Posted on 23 November 2012 by Bob Green

Category services

An issue of privacy?

How safe is the private rented sector for LGBT people?

Every year, thousands of LGBT people contact Stonewall Housing for help and advice. Most say that the housing problems they’re facing are related to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Increasingly, more LGBT people are having to rent their homes from a private landlord, whether because of the lack of affordable housing, or because of the increasing tendency of local authorities to discharge their duty to house people in need. But how safe is the private rented sector for LGBT people? 

The simple answer is that, for many LGBT people, it isn’t. For example, even though more LGBT people living in private rental accommodation tend to be in full-time employment, over 40% still feel insecure and / or were facing eviction from their homes. 

Sexual orientation and gender identity are not simply private issues. They are core to someone’s identity. Unfortunately, LGBT people still face daily harassment and abuse because of who they are. Sometimes it’s from their landlord. Sometimes it’s from people who they’re living with. Often it’s from neighbours or people with whom they share a house. Others have to deal with inappropriate language from letting agents. 

So safety is a key issue. Another is security of tenure. Tenancy agreements tend to be weighted in favour of the landlord: for LGBT tenants, this can make their homes  even more insecure. If an LGBT tenant is being abused, and is unable to leave their home because of the length of notice period, then they can become effectively imprisoned within their home. 

We are also concerned about those LGBT people living in private rented homes who are on benefits. Over one in three people who ask us for advice can no longer afford their rent. We expect those numbers to grow as the new welfare rules are introduced. Homelessness for our community is a growing issue: 10% of those who contact us are living on the streets.

But we’re also concerned about the impact of some of these new rules. Take, for example, the rule that says that people under 35 will only be entitled to the shared accommodation rate of housing benefit. As a consequence, it means that people under 35 will need to share with others. 

For transgender people, this will mean that they have to share with people - who may well be complete strangers - who are openly, and aggressively intolerant. At a time when they most need a supportive, welcoming environment, transgender people in this situation will be open to transphobic abuse. 

A final thought around private rented accommodation is not confined to LGBT tenants: the quality of homes. Over one in ten of LGBT people who are renting privately call us because of the poor standard of their home. Just as the Decent Homes initiative helped to improve the quality of social housing, so there needs to be a drive to improve the quality of private rented accommodation, so that it becomes a tenure of choice, and not because it is the only available option. 

So what do we want to see happen? We think the private sector can be a safe space for LGBT people. But, and it’s a big but, we think:

  • rent deposit schemes need to be more accessible, so that the private rented sector becomes more affordable;
  • tenancy agreements need to be more flexible, so that if abuse or harassment happens, then people are able to escape, without financial penalties;
  • more landlords should be encouraged and supported to accept those LGBT people who are receiving benefits;
  • private landlords should be offered training and guidance so they can be more aware of LGBT issues;
  • there needs to be more regulation of the quality and management of the private rented sector (although, bearing in mind the current ‘light touch’ approach to housing providers, we won’t hold our breath about this one!).

We would welcome working with private landlords, so they can understand the issues that LGBT people face on a daily basis. We’re already working with Shelter, the Housing Quality Network and the Chartered Institute of Housing to drive up standards and promote good practice within the social housing sector. We think the same should happen in the private rented sector, so that all LGBT people can feel safe and secure in their homes. 

This article originally appeared on The Guardian's housing network blog

 

Posted on 24 October 2012 by Bob Green

Category services

From street to Stonewall Housing

When Jamie came out, his Mum's boyfriend said he'd be a bad influence on his sisters. "He said I was disgusting. He told my Mum that she had to choose between me or him," he recalls. "She chose him."

Jamie was 16 years old at the time. Over the next three years, he moved 24 times, staying on friends’ sofas, or staying with older ‘boyfriends’. “It got to the point,” he says, “where I’d just sleep with a guy so that I could have somewhere to sleep. And then I always felt under pressure to please them, in case they got tired of me and wanted me to move on.

He turned to drink. He turned to drugs. And then he turned to us. We were able to provide him with a supported home, a safe space to make plans for his future.

Every year, thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, like Jamie, contact Stonewall Housing for advice. Increasingly, many of them are homeless or rough sleepers, forced out of their homes because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The number of homeless LGBT people is not known. Many remain invisible because, like Jamie, they survive by living in unsafe situations. Unless they find an organisation they trust and that understands their situation.

Some local authorities have recognised the needs of LGBT people, but they are few and far between. Stonewall Housing is the largest provider of LGBT-specific accommodation in the UK, but we are only able to provide 41 safe spaces for young LGBT people in four London boroughs. We also offer a unique housing advice service to LGBT people of all ages, as well as floating support to older people.

If a homeless LGBT person isn’t aware of our services they face a lottery. Many local authorities will not be aware of the sexuality or gender identity of the homeless person sitting in front of them. Few will have practical policies in place that will support the individual.

It may be more efficient and effective to address LGBT homelessness through joint commissioning of services. Housing, care and support providers from across the country have begun to discuss LGBT housing, care and support issues. We have provided guidance to the Chartered Institute of Housing and the Housing Quality Network about how housing providers can improve services for LGBT people. More coordination is needed to discuss the provision of specific services, and to improve awareness of LGBT housing need.

On World Homeless Day, it’s instructive to look at positive examples, such as the affordable supported housing project for older LGBT people based in Los Angeles. We have been approached by groups from countries as far apart as Serbia and Trinidad who would like to set up projects like ours. In these times of economic hardship and political indifference, we will have to continue to inspire each other.

It is vital that we don’t simply focus on LGBT homeless issues for just one day. Our message to commissioners, frontline workers and housing officials is this: talk with us. Discuss our concerns. We come from all ethnic groups. We have a variety of religious beliefs. We may have disabilities, we may have children. Unfortunately, we, too, experience homelessness.

We need the support of the public, voluntary and private sectors to help us identify the size of the problem of LGBT homelessness. Then we can work together, locally, nationally and internationally to end the problem, and to shape services that meet the needs of LGBT people.  

This article originally appeared on the Homeless Link web site, as part of World Homeless Day.

Posted on 12 October 2012 by Bob Green

Category services

How to apply for a Hardship Fund

Stonewall Housing is an approved Referral Agent for the Terrence Higgins Trust’s Hardship Fund, which can award up to £250 to people living with HIV and who are in financial hardship.  Please contact us for more information or to make an application to the Fund.

Posted on 6 March 2012 by Bob Green

Category services

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