NOMAD provides new service

Nomad launches Smartstep
Nomad launches Smartstep

Story & photo:Michelle Cook

Nomad is well known in our area for providing tenancy support work for local people.

On September 23rd, clients, staff, volunteers and local landlords gathered at St Mary’s for the launch of the Smart Steps programme. This helps single people aged 18-35 who are not eligible for help from the council to move into shared private accommodation. Working closely with landlords, clients receive support to sustain their tenancies. South Yorkshire Housing Association also provides two bedroom houses.

Originally set up as part of a national pilot, Sharing Solutions, by the homeless charity Crisis with funding from the DCLG, the scheme now has further funding from the Big Lottery to carry on work for the next four years. They are hoping to help a further 300 people in Sheffield.

There are currently five properties in the north of the city, offering intensive support in “training flats” from key workers who will visit three or four times a week and who will be in phone contact at all times. The clients must undertake a course in pre tenancy readiness, covering budgeting, maintaining property and avoiding potential conflict.

Fran Ockwell, the project manager said,

“leaving home for the first time can be scary and this can be made worse by having to deal with other issues likes addiction or debt. This is too much pressure for some and their tenancies fail without help and support.” After six months clients move on to tenancies in the private rented sector. With the help of Crisis Skylight clients undertake further study and have ongoing support. Key to this is the good relationship formed with local landlords who are very keen to work within the scheme.

Joseph Hughes, a client from Burngreave said:

“The scheme is excellent. I have been supported through some very hard times. It really takes the pressure off. My relationship with my mum has improved and I am in work, so the future looks better.”

Working in the north of the city, the scheme aims to encourage sharing amongst young people who have no cultural experience of it . Sharing can be hard for some, but recent changes to housing benefit for the under 35s means there is no choice but to share, so the aim is to make this good and successful for those young people who are in need of extra support.

The service accepts referrals from any source including local Housing Offices, Homeless section, Health visitors, Social Services and other professional bodies and self referrals.

The service we offer is not intended to replace care packages provided by Health and Social Services but to complement and work alongside them.

For more information contact: Nomad Opening Doors, 12 – 14 Burngreave Road, Sheffield S3 9DD. Telephone 0114 241 2080. Fax: 0114 278 7468 Email:

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The content on this page was added to the website by Graham Jones on 2015-10-06 20:10:48.
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