Novas supported me with my housing, my addiction and rebuilding my relationship with my children.

Intensive Family Support Story

I was four months pregnant when I came to Novas looking for help. Both my partner and I were homeless, living in a caravan in Southill. Everyone had given up on us because I wasn’t attending school and I wasn’t doing what the professionals asked of me. We weren’t safe in the caravan, there was no running water and a horse shared the garden with us. We were looking for a place of our own, without success. No landlord would take us because we were going looking at the apartments, having had no sleep or no shower.

When we presented to the IFS, they moved us to a B&B straight away. We then moved to McGarry house, but that wasn’t very suitable to our needs either. From there our keyworker helped us get a flat. She continues to help us now, with money management and payment of bills and rent. She helps us keep a roof over our child’s head. If we are ever short something, or need something, we’d come straight to Novas. They are so welcoming. There is nothing we’ve asked of them that they haven’t done.
(Testimonial from couple who are successfully housed with their baby for the last 6 months. The IFS continue to work with them around tenancy sustainment).

At the time my family was referred to Novas, my partner and our children were in a homeless hostel and I was in another hostel (McGarry House) in the city. We were separated because there is no hostel accommodation for men and their children. That was very hurtful, I had come so far with my addiction and it all seemed for nothing. I was told I had to get a house or I could not have my children. Securing a house was a big problem in itself as I had no references and neither my partner nor I had actually ever paid rent before.

I was appointed a Novas keyworker. It worked for me because they were non-judgemental, there was no pointing fingers when it came to money management or previous mistakes. They didn’t just help with money issues, it was the extra stuff that made Novas work for me and my family, like aftercare and court appointments. Novas also asked me to give them a hand moving furniture and things, I knew then they had seen something good in me. I felt good about that.

I found when it came to the rent side of things we were safe. I always got guidance and reassurance from staff. Bills don’t bother me anymore, I feel comfortable with them. I think that’s because of the routine of the work I did with Novas. We still pay our rent to Novas which works for us. It’s not that when your case is closed that the phone is hung up on you. We can always link in if we need to.
(Testimonial from male client with three children, who were homeless at first engagement with the IFS. Their case was successfully closed as their needs lessened. The couple still pay their rent to the IFS, as this was the agreement with the landlord at the beginning of the tenancy.)

I was referred to Novas through a social worker. I needed help and had been afraid to ask for it. My home was being repossessed and due to budget cuts in social welfare I was struggling financially. I have applied for hundreds of jobs but to no avail. Asking for help was very difficult but I was facing eviction. Once I made contact with Novas, everything changed for me. Aside from the advice and support they gave me, I now have hope. Before I met with my keyworker I thought the only option for my son and I was to sleep in my car, and that thought terrified me. I was too ashamed to ask for help, but after the first meeting with my keyworker, I felt such relief. Everyone I encountered at Novas has been supportive and non-judgemental. I now have hope for a wonderful future for my son and I and that is all thanks to Novas and my keyworker.
(Testimonal from mother with one son who was facing homelessness due to financial difficulty and red-tape around house repossession)

I first contacted Intensive Family Support in February 2008. I was living in a large council housing estate at the time. I was having problems with anti-social behaviour and my house was vandalised by youths.

I was also coming to terms with my own difficulties around addiction, loss, bereavement and placing my two children in voluntary foster care.

Novas helped me to find emergency accommodation and from there I moved to Novas emergency family accommodation, in which I have been living for the last three months. This helped me change my environment and my habits. I am now moving into my own three bedroom house in a private housing area with my children and I am hoping to return to employment when my children return to school in September.

Novas supported me with my housing, addiction and rebuilding my relationship with my children. The staff at Novas attended all my case conferences, children in care review meetings and court cases involving my children returning to my full time care.

They provided transport for my children from their foster home to school and for me on my access days with my children. Novas were always there for me giving me moral support and always listened to me both on good and bad days without judgement. Back in February 2008, I was feeling trapped, embarrassed, frustrated and angry. Today I feel I have respect, recognition and independence. I now have new goals and achievements. This is all because of Novas’ Intensive Family Support Services.
(Testimonial from mother whose children were taken into care. She has regained custody since working with the IFS)