Category Archives: Moving On

Hope Jam – Talent Showcase

26th May 2018

Venue: The Star of Kings, 126 York Way, Kings Cross, N1 0AX

Time: 7pm

Tickets: £10

Ticket Website:



The power of two…

Steven came to Two Step in January this year, having been homeless for two years since a relationship breakdown. He had been sofa surfing and rough sleeping for that time, had been trying to get back on his feet in London for 9 months so he could have regular contact with his eight year old son, and get himself back on his feet.

Up to the age of 48, Steven had always worked and supported himself and his family, turning his hand to forklift driving, construction and catering work and usually walking straight into another job whenever one finished. However, in the last couple of years it has become impossible to get work on a building site, in a kitchen or warehouse without qualifications.

Two Step housed Steven in a small studio flat three days after he attended the assessment, and he expressed the desire to have a mentor to help him with his reading and writing (which he had always struggled with) and with getting his benefits sorted out – they had been stopped because he wasn’t producing enough evidence of his efforts to find work. Steven’s mentor quickly began to suspect that Steven’s problem was deeper than lack of reading and writing practice, and was able to get an assessment organised with a dyslexia specialist who discovered Steven is severely dyslexic.

From this, they were able to set up a meeting with a disability advisor at the Jobcentre so Steven would no longer be penalised  because he cannot use the computers or complete written statements of his jobsearch. The Jobcentre staff are no longer threatening to stop Steven’s benefits, and have organised an assessment with their own dyslexia support service.

This is a huge relief for Steven, who was afraid he would lose his income, accommodation and access to his son and frustrated at not understanding the problem or being understood. He frequently has his son for the weekend, and his son is doing great at school.

Steven made these comments at the closing evaluation:

Did you feel you made progress toward your goal/s and in what way?

Yes, he wrote letters to the Jobcentre on my behalf when they were going to stop my benefits and came with me to see the disability advisor

He also got me help with my reading and writing (I have been diagnosed as severely dyslexic now)

How might things have been different if you hadn’t had the mentoring relationship?

I might have lost my Jobseekers Allowance and my housing benefit and become homeless again

Please write a paragraph describing your relationship.

It’s been very good, no problems.

My mentor treats me with respect at all times

He is a very nice man and he helped me quite a bit, the support helped me very much.

Me being sorted out with the Jobcentre also allowed me to see my son more, and our relationship has improved as a result