We are Your Own Place - a social enterprise local to Norfolk that works with people to prevent homelessness.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has created a very uncertain landscape for millions of people around the world including those we support day to day. This crisis is going to make it very difficult for us to survive. We need your support.
The government job retention scheme is incredible support for many people and businesses. But we don't sell beer or croissants - we change lives and need to stay open. The scheme incentivises Your Own Place to close right now, as it will only pay wages of employees that cease to work - or 'furlough'. We will have to stop everything and if we stop now we may not start again.
Stopping now is unthinkable because:
we are Needed More Now Than Ever by the people we support.
In the last two weeks Your Own Place has listened and heard of people losing their jobs, struggling to pay their rent, crippled with fear and anxiety and more isolated than ever.
- many jobs will not return.
- money is really tight already.
- benefit queues are long and there are lots of changes.
- bills are going unpaid and debt is rising.
- people are more at risk of losing their homes and homelessness.
- domestic violence is a huge heightened risk for many.
- people are alone and isolated.
- foodbanks are running dry and people are going hungry.
- mis-information, myths and lies are further confusing and scaring people.
We also know, because we've been speaking to our people in the last two weeks, that they want our help NOW. Many are bored and more ready than ever to listen, engage and benefit from our help. Now is the time!
- CLEAR INFORMATION: we have eight social media channels and they are trusted platforms. We will support people with a social media campaign of trustworthy, simple, clear and updated information from reliable sources only.
- TACKLING ISOLATION: we will run online and virtual 'fun' to keep people from being alone and further isolated. Using apps such as HouseParty to keep people involved, talking to each other, developing new skills and occupied.
- E-LEARNING: we will develop e-learning courses, run webinars and live streaming on YouTube with the latest facts, help, guidance and signposting of where to go for help and changes to benefits, rent payments etc.
- FURTHER ONLINE TRAINING: we will write additional e-learning and online workshops (including over the phone for those not online) with money skills, budgeting, benefits, paying the rent and finding a new job.
- ONLINE CONFIDENCE & SKILLS: we will train the people we usually support to develop their online confidence, skills and to be safe so that they can support themselves and take the next steps they need to.
- VOLUNTEER MENTORS: we will develop the skills and confidence of our existing Volunteer Mentors to get online and keep supporting their mentees - young people in the community who are alone and under-supported and need the support right NOW. If we close now, all these relationships will have to end.
- NEW VOLUNTEERS IN THE BIG COVID 19 PUSH: Your Own Place has trained over 200 volunteers. We will contact them all with the current opportunities in response to Covid 19. We will develop new e-learning courses to ensure any volunteers about to join the big push in the community are safe and the community has the best volunteers.
WE CAN'T DO ANY OF THIS IF WE CLOSE THE BUSINESS DOWN.
WE ARE NEEDED NOW MORE THAN EVER