If you have recently been in, or you are currently in prison, there are a number of things you can do to prevent yourself becoming homeless. Our leaflet provides further advice for people leaving prison and their families.
If you have a tenancy when you go to prison you may be able to sustain it and avoid eviction:
See Shelter for more advice.
You should have a Housing and Resettlement or Through the Gate service within the prison which can help you with these steps and provide further advice.
The Through the Gate service should assign a Resettlement Worker to you in order to prepare you for release. They can help with:
You can also apply for the following grants before release:
The prison service or court should help you organise a suitable address to stay at before you are released on bail or an electronic tag.
You may be referred to the Bail Accommodation Support Scheme (BASS). BASS provides short term accommodation and support to men and women on bail or being released from custody on home detention curfew. Call 0300 555 0264 for more information.
You should be allocated a Probation Officer in the area you are living immediately after release. Depending on the length of your sentence and situation you may also be given a place in a probation hostel.
Your Resettlement Worker from prison should work with the Probation Officer to ensure that accommodation plans are put in place. Probation will give you housing advice and will be able to refer you to specialist hostel, supported housing and private landlords. They should also work closely with the Council.
Coventry's Prevention Team can work with you and your Probation Officer to plan housing. We'll work closely with the Salvation Army to do this. See Shelter's advice for prisoners and ex-offenders.
The Coventry Youth Offending Service coordinates the provision of local youth justice services in partnership with a number of organisations. Call 024 7683 1414 for more information.
Advice Services Coventry lists the different agencies in the city who work together to offer free, independent advice and information.
Nacro's Resettlement Advice Service can give practical advice for people with criminal records. Call 0300 123 1999.
Women in Prison supports women to avoid and exit the criminal justice system. Call 0800 953 0125.
St Giles Trust works with people facing severe disadvantages to find jobs, homes and the support they need. Call 020 7708 8000.
Prisoners' Advice Service offers free legal advice and support to adult prisoners. Call 0845 430 8923 or 020 7253 3323.
The Salvation Army's Harnall Lifehouse can give you a place to tonight. You can self-refer by phone or by walking in. Contact details below. They should also assist you in accessing the Homelessness Prevention Service at Coventry City Council. They also run a drop-in day centre.
The Coventry Jesus Centre runs a drop-in service Tuesday to Thursday 9am - 12noon and Sunday 9am - 10:30am where you can get breakfast as well as access to showers, laundry, clothing, advice and support workers.
Shelter can also help you find hostel services through their helpline: 0808 800 4444.
Due to new homelessness legislation, you are not required to have priority need or links to a council area (local connection) to access the Homelessness Prevention Service. Priority need will only be taken into account to decide whether you are entitled to interim accommodation under a relief duty or owed a main housing duty.
This means that we may provide you with short-term accommodation if you meet a certain level of need. This may be due to a vulnerability as a result of having served a custodial sentence, been committed for contempt of court or remanded in custody. We will look at your situation and any people who are dependent on you to make a decision. For further details on what gives you a priority need or a local connection, call Shelter on 0808 800 4444 and see the government's guidance.