Lottery funds helps Steel City charity continue support for its young homeless

Nomad staff celebrate lottery funding (from left) CEO Fran Ferris-Ockwell, business support manager, Natalie Weeks, Jake, Nomad tenant and head of services, Karen Awdhali
Nomad staff celebrate lottery funding (from left) CEO Fran Ferris-Ockwell, business support manager, Natalie Weeks, Jake, Nomad tenant and head of services, Karen Awdhali

Steel City housing charity Nomad will be able to continue its Smart Steps programme and help 240 homeless people over the next four years after securing National Lottery funding.

Nomad Opening Doors is a Sheffield housing charity, now in its 30th year. Through its Smart Steps programme, it tries to make it easier for young people under 35 who are homeless or threatened with homelessness to find housing.

The latest funding will go some way towards the cost of housing and supporting 240 single people.

Nomad CEO, Fran Ferris-Ockwell, said: “Smart Steps exists to help single homeless people access shared private rented sector housing, and to develop their tenancy skills and personal resilience.

“The private rented sector is often the only viable housing option for our clients, but it can be very hard to find suitable properties. Unfortunately, rising rents combined with benefit freezes has created a situation where, in many areas, people on low incomes can struggle to afford to rent a home.”

She said Nomad worked with people to develop a person’s abilities and aspirations and added: “Compounding this, most people who need to use our service do not have savings they can use to pay for the upfront costs of finding privately rented housing. Most landlords ask for a deposit, and for rent in advance before allowing someone to sign up for a tenancy.

“Often, they require credit checks and minimum income requirements, which are a big barrier for people who are out of work, or on low incomes, or who have had problem debt in the past.

“We work with understanding and supportive local landlords to quickly move people into long-term housing, enabling them to settle into a community and move on with their lives. We also provide intensive support for people who are not ready to move straight into a private sector house-share.”​​​​​​​