Learn more about our charity partner, Simon on the Streets, and the help & support they provide.
Early Morning Outreach
One of our outreach workers in Leeds give us an insight into going on outreach early in the morning and why it's important.
My day starts at 5am when the alarm goes off. My team member and I are doing early morning outreach this morning, walking around the city to find rough sleepers who need help and support. By going out early in the morning we can engage with people as they are waking up and they are often less likely to be taking drugs or alcohol. We can discuss their situation, offer emotional and practical support and direct them to St Anne’s Resource Centre, a local day shelter which provides breakfast.
This morning we covered a fair few miles and were able to engage with rough sleepers throughout the outskirts of Leeds in Headingly, Hyde Park and Burley. Many of the people we encountered were not engaging with other services so we gave them our contact details and will continue to communicate and build relationships with these individuals until they feel ready to take on our support.
We aim to help rough sleepers who find themselves excluded from, or who refuse the intervention of other services: these tend to be individuals with complex mental and physical needs leading chaotic lifestyles, those who feel let down and helpless and have given up. We also support those with no recourse to public funds and no other form of support.
We take tea, coffee and biscuits on our early morning outreach, so that people are not too annoyed if we accidentally wake them. This also gives us the chance to strike up conversations and take the first step in building the relationships which allow us to help them on their journeys.
These early morning outreach sessions are essential, as they help us find and support people like:
Martim* from Portugal who was sleeping rough and had no recourse to public funds. We assisted him with accessing emergency accommodation for one night and helped get him back in touch with his family in Manchester, who he is with now.
Dan*, who had no local connection to Leeds and was struggling to engage with services. By helping him regain contact with Leeds Housing Options he now has his priority band for housing on the correct level.
Eve*, who was fleeing domestic violence when we met her on outreach. We managed to signpost her to St Anne’s Resource Centre where she is now attending regularly.
Groups of Eastern European rough sleepers who are happy to accept hot drinks and a chat. Emotional support is always offered and we continue to look for new avenues to access help.
*Real names not used.
Simon on the Streets