Threatened with being homeless, 26 year old Kevin Gonzalez from London says that Ingeus employment support arrived just in time to save the day.
Out-of-work Kevin had been sofa-surfing with friends as he was unable to find another job in retail as shops closed during the pandemic. His savings were gone and he could not afford the deposit or rent on any new accommodation.
Kevin was referred by Poplar Jobcentre Plus to Central London Works, central London’s version of the government’s Work and Health Programme.
Central London Works is delivered by employment specialist Ingeus. It is commissioned by Central London Forward (CLF) and receives support from the European Social Fund.
The employability programme was able to draw on an additional Community Investment Fund that has been used during the COVID crisis to secure accommodation and improve employment prospects for Ingeus clients.
“CLF made the fund available and we have been able to provide accommodation for people threatened with homelessness,” explained Raymond Gray, Director of Ingeus’ Central London Works. “The client had to be actively seeking work and we were able to provide a deposit and cover the initial rent until the applicant received their first month’s salary or universal credit payments. It was great to be able to draw on this resource during the lockdown restrictions when finding work and a new home was made even more difficult.”
Kevin now has his own bedroom in a shared flat in Shoreditch in the East End of London and after completing an online training course, has been offered employment with a London-based internet provider. After his induction period, Kevin will become a member of its field sales team, working with existing and potential customers.
“Ingeus came to help me at just the right time,” commented Kevin. “I was so scared that after six months of relying on friends that I was going to end up with nowhere to stay. I was feeling desperate. It is very difficult to apply for any vacancies if you cannot give a permanent address, but how do you find somewhere if you are not working? That’s when you really need help.
“My Ingeus employment coach Salma Malik has been fantastic, encouraging me to complete online training while I was looking for a suitable job.”