Outreach and Intervention
We reach out to people in crisis with innovative, responsive and evidence-based services.
Our goal is to bring help to homeless, vulnerable and excluded people in ways that work for them. We know that many of the people who need our help – especially those living with multiple and complex needs – are not always ready to ask for it or accept it. That’s why we reach out to them with proactive intervention services that focus on finding the right solutions for people in need.
WHAT WE DID
In 2016/17 we set about expanding the reach of our street outreach work. It had been clear for some time that many of the boroughs and districts of Nottinghamshire had considerable numbers of rough sleepers who were not getting the support they needed.
This, along with record levels of street homelessness in Nottingham, was a cause of great concern to us, our supporters, and to many other stakeholders in those communities. We used our influence to raise awareness of the issue and took a lead on proposing active steps to alleviate a growing crisis.
We had for some time been advocating for a more joined up approach between local authorities and were delighted to support a successful bid by Nottingham City Council to secure additional emergency funding in partnership with the seven district and borough authorities.
The £360,000 secured from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), when paired with £225,000 of our own fundraised income, provided enough funding to expand street outreach services to cover Nottingham and Nottinghamshire for the next three years.
This additional investment enabled us to help a total of 638 rough sleepers during the year – more than we have ever supported before. We reach out to people in crisis with innovative, responsive and evidence-based services.
Willem was trapped in a cycle of prison and rough sleeping.
“I HAD NO FAMILY TO FALL BACK ON AND HAD BEEN IN AND OUT OF ALMOST EVERY HOSTEL IN MANSFIELD. COLLETTE FROM THE OUTREACH TEAM WAS GREAT. SHE’S GIVEN ME MY LIFE BACK. WITHOUT HER I REALLY THINK I WOULD HAVE ENDED UP BACK IN PRISON AND TAKING DRUGS. SHE FOUND ME ONE MORNING AND HELPED ME TO GET INTO THE YMCA. I NOW FEEL MORE POSITIVE ABOUT THE FUTURE AND BELIEVE THAT I CAN GET MY OWN FLAT.”
Peter and Ruth
Peter and Ruth* were sleeping rough in a tent in a field.
“SLEEPING ROUGH WAS A TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE. IT WAS REALLY COLD AND DAMP, AND WE HAD RATS ALL AROUND US. WE WERE BOTH IN VERY POOR HEALTH AND DIDN’T SEE ANY WAY OUT OF THE SITUATION WE WERE IN. HAVING FRAMEWORK ON OUR SIDE MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE TO US. THEY GOT US THE HELP WE NEEDED, AND FOUND US A SUITABLE PROPERTY VERY QUICKLY. WE REALLY DON’T WANT TO THINK WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED WITHOUT THEM.”
*We have changed Peter and Ruth’s names to protect their identity.
THE YEAR AHEAD
In June 2017 we extended the reach of our Street Outreach work even further when we began work with Sheffield City Council to provide local street outreach services.
This work is scheduled to continue for at least the next three years, and will mirror the “assertive outreach” model we have developed in other areas. This approach relies on daily, intelligence-led patrols and reports from members of the public (made by telephone or online) to accurately assess the scale of the issue.
It also relies on regular one-to-one contact with people sleeping rough to build trust and devise individually tailored packages of support. Sadly, we also expect to find ever - increasing numbers of people sleeping rough over the next year, as welfare reforms, a continued shortage in housing, and cuts to prevention services continue to bite.
We also expect to work with more people with multiple and complex needs, whose homelessness is exacerbated by mental ill-health, substance addictions and offending histories. These individuals are more challenging to support and are often entrenched in rough sleeping lifestyles. Willem was trapped in a cycle of prison and rough sleeping.