Home essentials in a crisis

We may be able to help you if you are having serious difficulties managing your income due to a crisis or if you are facing exceptional pressures because of an emergency.

We offer our help for a short time only if you have no other means of support. Wherever possible we want to help you stay in (or move back into) your local community.

We don't offer money. We can provide essential home items such as:

  • groceries (for up to 7 days)
  • clothing
  • baby food, milk and nappies
  • furniture
  • crockery
  • bedding
  • essential electrical appliances

and help with:

  • utilities (gas and electric, for up to 7 days)
  • emergency travel arrangements via public transport (for example to flee a crisis)

Most of the home items we provide will be secondhand.

Before you apply we'll expect you to have claimed any national benefits, grants and loans which are appropriate to your situation.

Your local district council may also be able to help you if you need help paying rent or rent in advance through a Discretionary Housing Payment.

You must have spoken to a benefits or Job Centre Plus advisor about the following before applying to us for help:

To find other organisations in your area who can help and support you, please visit the Live It Well website.

To make an application, unless in exceptional circumstances, we will need you to provide evidence that you are:

  • aged 16 or over
  • you live in Kent (if you pay your Council Tax to Medway Council you will need to contact their local welfare provision scheme)
  • you live on a low income or receive a means-tested benefit
  • you have no access to savings or support from other sources.

To complete the application you will need:

  • your National Insurance number
  • details of anyone who lives in your house, including their National Insurance number(s)
  • details of your income and that of your partner or other adults living with you (this includes benefits payments and any income from employment).

To ask for our help:

Once you have applied for help from us, we will contact you with information on agencies that may be able to help you in your situation long-term and enable you to manage your financial crisis. We will then tell you if we are able to provide the items you need, and explain how we will get the goods to you.

If we can't help you, we will explain why and tell you about your right to ask for a review of your situation. We will also let you know where you can go to get more advice or information.