Anna joined us last month and brings with her years of experience within the homeless sector and has helped to shape homeless services by keeping the needs of the customer at the heart.
Our Gateway Team provides a single point of access to people in housing crisis in Stoke-on-Trent. Delivered as part of the Destination:Home service in partnership with Adullam Homes Housing Association, North Staffs Mind, Changes: Health and Wellbeing and Walk Ministries.
The Gateway Team have that initial contact with customers and help to understand what they need and how to address those needs. They then work with the Service Coordinators and Safe and Well team to make sure people are given accommodation and the support they need to truly thrive.
Anna loves her new role so far and has big plans: “I’ve only been here for a short time now, but I already love it! Everyone here is so passionate and energetic working towards the common goal of making homelessness history.”
“I’m passionate too and I want to make sure that every customer is happy, content, has their needs met and has their own voice in their recovery. I want their experience as smooth as possible because they are our priority and already have enough going on in their life.”
Anna has lived experience of homelessness after sofa surfing for a period in her life. She has a first-hand understanding of some of the challenges our customers face. As she explains:
“I’ve sofa surfed before and I can honestly say getting through that really tough period in my life is one of my greatest achievements and I’m so glad that I survived it and I’m here living my life and making a difference to others.”
“It’s really easy to judge but unless you’ve been through it yourself you can’t fully understand what it’s like. It means so much to me now to be able to make a difference and be a part of someone’s journey towards concrete futures. I can appreciate the work it takes and how far people have come.”
“It irks me when people make assumptions and stereotypes about people without a home. Often, they’re quick to judge and don’t put themselves in their shoes. They don’t think about what they would do if they had nothing and nowhere to go. Whatever people go through, EVERYONE deserves a home. Sometimes people just need a helping hand to get there.”
Find out more about Destination:Home