During our last SOHK adult course in Cardiff, we met a young man called Alissio, an Italian national who has been sleeping rough in Cardiff. For quite some time, he has been trying to navigate his way through the system, searching for a job and a place to live in Wales.

Alissio was immediately popular with the rest of the group and engaged really well with the course but when we learned he was sleeping on the steps of City Hall, we knew we had to help.

Catryn, Programme Director for Wales, put out a call for help to the partner network supporting the course in Cardiff East. We were delighted that EVERYONE, even those who could not help in a professional capacity, wanted to and tried.

One of our partners, Lucy from Wates Group, was touched by Alissio’s story and managed to find him a job opportunity, working with a cleaning company who is contracted to their building sites – which he nailed! Our amazing housing partners were determined to solve Alissio’s housing situation, ironically now even worse due to his new employment status.

 Alissio and Lucy from Wates Group

We decided to put Alissio up in a hotel for two nights, whilst the partnership worked to see how they could help him. Because of his nationality and the fact Alissio was now employed, it became clear that Alissio was unable to access many, if any, of the support services for homelessness in Cardiff.

One of our partners, Natalie from Cardiff Community Housing, met up with Alissio to look at alternatives to get a roof over his head. She kindly took him to view some shared accommodation and registered him for the working homeless accommodation provided by Cardiff council.   

Thanks to SOHK, CCHA, The Wallich, Wates and other members of our incredibly compassionate partnership that have supported Alissio to date, he has now been able to access the Pod’s. He now is living in a safe space which is a massive improvement and means he can continue to navigate his new working life.  

The collective powers of the partnership have not only supported Alissio into employment but also found him a home and ensured he has access to services to support his well being in future.

Alissio is realistic that this isn’t the end of his struggles but is optimistic about the future - for the first time in a long while.

Alissio - now employed!

You can help others just like Alissio by becoming a Friend of SOHK for just £3 a month. For the same price as just one coffee, you can make a genuine difference to the lives of the adults and children we work with.