Debt-ridden residents flocking to Mansfield charity

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Desperate residents are flocking to a Mansfield charity for financial help, a leading worker have revealed.

Framework, based on Commercial Gate, is known for helping the homeless, but say more than 70 per cent of their workload is dealing with those threatened with homelessness, such as being behind on their rent, council tax or loan repayments.

With Christmas out of the way, the charity says the financial difficulties people have found themselves in begins to dawn on them.

Team leader for Framework, Mel Little, said: “We’ve noticed that in January we had 47 people come to us in December, 55 in January, and so far in February we’ve had 45, and we’re not at the end of the month yet.

“People start to realise after Christmas that they’re in debt and need to do something about it. They ignore letters and come to us the day before they are going to be evicted.”

She says a large number of people they help struggle to prioritise debts, and will forgo paying their rent, often opting to pay off pay-day lenders.

“Pay day lenders make a lot of noise, but they are a non-priority debt,” she added.

“They sometime think it doesn’t matter if they don’t pay rent, but it gets to the point that people are scared to answer the phone or the door.”

Run as a charity , council funding for Framework has been cut dramatically in recent years.

The service has been secured until April 2016, but it future beyond that is unknown.

Mel added: “I have worked here for 11 years and you do not know one year to the next if funding will be extended, we just keep carrying on with the work.

“But we are that busy that if we were not here I don’t where people would turn to.”

Keith Dixon (61) admitted he would have been out on the streets, had it not been for Framework. He had been looking after his mother at her bungalow, but was forced to leave after she died.

Framework helped get him into a bungalow on Slant Lane in Mansfield Woodhouse.

He said: “I would have been on the street, but a mate of mine told me about Framework, I’m really grateful for the help they have given me. I’m happy where I am now.”

Muscular dystrophy sufferer , 48-year-old Michael Barnes now lives on Dalestorth Avenue on the Ladybrook Estate.

He said: “I had three week to move out of my last home and didn’t know what to do.

“Framework could not have been any better, they helped sort everything out.”