Zoe was £25,000 in debt and owed £1,600 in rent and council tax. As a result, the council home where she lived with her children was up for re-possession. Zoe wasn’t opening her bills or bailiff letters and she had mental ill health. 

We quickly secured a discretionary housing payment from the council to wipe out Zoe’s rent arrears. This stopped the threat of eviction and enabled them to keep living in their home. 

Next, we worked with a debt advisor from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau to get Zoe a debt relief order and write off all her debt. During this process, we supported her to open her bills and bailiff demands, empowering her to take control of the situation and avoid debt in future. 

We encouraged Zoe to get mental health support from the GP, which is helping her manage her wellbeing for the longer term.  

By supporting her to attend children’s social worker appointments, her children were able to move from the ‘child at risk register’ to the ‘child in need register’. This was a huge relief for the family. 

Finally, we allocated the family some money through the county council’s household support fund, which provided food vouchers and fuel top-ups. We also applied to the essential living fund for new clothes for Zoe and her children, new bedding, white goods and many other items that improved their quality of life.  

By working with partners and connecting Zoe to the right support, we could make a huge difference to her family. We empowered her to overcome obstacles and regain control of her situation and wellbeing, setting her up with independent living skills for the future. 

Zoe summarised the impact of our support: "Peabody’s outreach service saved me from losing my home, my children and my mind.” 

Our support worker added: “When supporting this lovely family, it gave me a sense of pride and achievement to watch how far they had come and what can be accomplished with our service. Long may we keep making a difference to people’s lives.” 

Get support 

Our outreach service is currently available in Essex, Havering, Thurrock and Tower Hamlets, where it is commissioned. Find out how to get support. 

Information for commissioners 

 We support thousands of people every year to overcome housing-related challenges and improve their lives. Find out how we deliver a successful outreach service 


Need urgent help?

If you need urgent support or just want to talk to someone, you can call 116 123 at any time of day or night to speak to the Samaritans.