The team has achieved some fantastic results in its first year, including helping just under 70 people into accommodation (including our Emergency Accommodation) and around 90 to access treatment services for addictions – a crucial part of helping people off the streets.
We have established regular joint shifts with NHS nurses, mental health and substance misuse professionals, which is hugely important in engaging clients with healthcare needs.
We met Rebecca* begging last summer and were immediately concerned because she looked very unwell. Initially, Rebecca was very hostile towards us and made it clear she didn’t want our help.
We persisted and built up a relationship by visiting Rebecca regularly just to chat. Eventually she confided that she had a very painful and infected leg. We helped her to get to hospital where she had several operations to save her leg (and potentially her life).
We kept in contact with Rebecca throughout her stay in hospital and worked to arrange accommodation for her to be discharged to. Unfortunately, Rebecca was discharged early and returned to the streets. She remained begging for several months, but was much friendlier towards us.
We didn’t give up, continuing to visit as much as possible. We also continued work behind the scenes to find her somewhere to live.
We’re very pleased that Rebecca has since been placed in temporary accommodation. We’re now working hard to secure a permanent housing solution for Rebecca and supporting her to access the healthcare she needs.
Rebecca’s story shows the enormous amount of work that goes into helping people recover from homelessness – and that it’s not always a straightforward journey. We are very proud that our team’s perseverance, compassion and patience has prevented the possible death of a young woman on the streets.
*not the client’s real name