How to ask for help with housing when you’re feeling anxiouscreative44
Asking for help can be one of the hardest things we do. Feeling anxious about making that first contact is completely normal and we sometimes call this anxiety ‘the fear of the unknown’. The uncertainty about what is going to happen can cause feelings of nervousness or worry, but taking control of the situation can reduce those feelings.
Here at Doorstep, we are creating a ‘psychologically informed environment’. This means that throughout our entire organisation, from the finance team down to reception, to how we create policies or layout our communal spaces, we take into account the emotional and psychological needs of the people who call or visit us.
If you are thinking of making contact with us because you’re experiencing homelessness, or you know someone who needs some encouragement to reach out, we have some advice on how to reduce any anxious feelings you might have.
You might be wondering what our centre looks like, who you will speak to or what to say?
Polly is our Reception & Referral Worker and is the first person you will speak to when you call or visit. The best time to speak to Polly is between 9am and 2pm, Monday to Friday. If you call after 2pm we will take a message and arrange a call-back. If you’ve been invited in to complete a housing application, Polly is the person who will help you with that.
Starting off the conversation
Once you’ve decided to get in touch by phone, practice these phrases to start you off:
- I’d like to talk to someone about my housing situation
- I’m struggling with my housing and need some help
- My housing has suddenly changed or about to change and I don’t know what to do
You can also use these to tell us what is happening over email or via Facebook messenger.
*(We want to say at this point that you DO know what to do, and you’ve proven this by calling someone for help.)
Useful information to have ready:
Your phone number or another contact number
Date of birth
National Insurance Number
This is the basic information we would need to start any referrals for support. Having this ready can help you feel more in control and speed things up. For a more detailed look at how we can help please visit: https://www.mydoorstep.org.uk/i-need-help/
If a homeless prevention referral is made, you will be triaged by the local council. To help you feel more in control at this stage, try and gather copies of important documents, such as:
- Proof of your identity (birth certificate, driving licence, passport)
- Evidence of EU settled status, asylum status or other relevant immigration documents
- Proof of your National Insurance Number
- Wage slips
- Proof of your benefit entitlement
- Any relevant letters regarding a diagnosed medical condition
If you have someone that you can trust, tell them that you’re planning to make contact with us. Run through the list of things you will need and ask them to be there with you when you call. They might help you write out a message or email.
Asking for help should not be the cause of your anxiety. It is an opportunity to take control, grow, and connect.