Ray’s experience at Justlife

Ray* is getting his life back on track with Justlife:

Before I started attending Justlife, I would deal with problems myself, but because of new changes in unemployment claims, I found it what this actually meant, because I was homeless. Whilst I was homeless I decided not to sign on. My money had been stopped for six months and I didn’t want to sign on [to receive benefits] if I wasn’t going to receive money on a regular basis. After my six month sanction was over I decided to make a fresh claim. On making a fresh claim, I had to prove that I was genuinely homeless, so I attended a department in Manchester City Council to get the paperwork saying that in their opinion I was homeless.

I first attended Justlife to deal with debts and homelessness and to find out what support there is in Manchester, now that the Salvation Army in the city centre has been demolished and the Direct Access Centre in Ardwick no longer exists.

Matt at Justlife helped me to deal with the debts, finding out how much I owed people and putting together a payment plan that I could stick to.

Early on in coming to Justlife I also attended the Christmas Party in the church. On a Monday I have been attending the Justlife Jobclub to look for work and on Tuesday afternoons I have been learning to use computers. I can also use the phone at Justlife to contact employers, which is really helpful – as the Jobcentre no longer has phones that you can use. On Friday afternoons I attend Justlife to check my emails and enjoy the pasty lunch. In the afternoon I am currently attending gardening classes. We are currently growing vegetables, which is pretty weird for inner city Manchester. On a Wednesday afternoon I can go to the mens group – where I get to try out new activities, like golf.

Justlife is also helping me sort out getting rehoused, so soon I will have a home again and life will be back on track.

*Name changed to protect confidentiality and Justlife stock image used.