Visited HARTS for Families on Friday to take part in a film about the work they do.
I was really impressed by them when I visited in 2006. They are a unique facility for those who are too vulnerable to get themselves out of the dreadful holes people can get into as life’s problems and difficulties mount up. Without a helping hand to sort out things, they can spiral down and down – but with HARTS people are helped to turn things round instead and given assistance to get matters back under control to the point where they can live an independent life again and take care of themselves.
Typically, for example, someone will come to me when they are being evicted. But way before they get to that point they have generally got into arrears through being out of work or not understanding tax credits or why benefits have stopped – and instead of dealing with it (perhaps because they can’t read or write or even speak English) it mounts up and trouble heaps upon trouble. HARTS sends in the support not just to get them out of trouble in the direct instance – but to put in place support, or training or help so that they can get out of the situation for the future.
People who can deal with life sometimes find it difficult to understand why people get themselves in such a mess. But with mental health challenges, difficult or challenging families – and without the wherewithal that the haves can take for granted – the mess deepens. So all credit to HARTS for the key role they play.