Outreach Worker has been supporting Dominik for almost a year. Here they tell us more about Dominik and the support they have been providing him.
Dominik (real name not used) is Eastern European and street homeless. He routinely finds himself on the streets during the day with nowhere to go at night.
Dominik has been in the UK for nearly seven years. Unfortunately, he has no recourse to public funds and is not eligible for benefits or housing support. The only help available is emergency accommodation which he can only access when the Severe Weather Protocol is on. This is usually only activated when temperatures drop below zero meaning he often spends his nights trying to sleep in a tent. It’s noisy, cold and unsafe, and he gets little respite.
I have been working with Dominik for just under a year now. Every day he relies on food parcels to eat and accesses washing facilities at St Anne’s Resource Centre. I meet with him regularly to conduct welfare checks and provide emotional support. Emotional support is essential in our work as it helps us build strong positive relationships and helps our service users to deal with their problems, fears and concerns and increase their ability to care for themselves.
The language barrier is very isolating for Dominik. We are currently looking into accessing free English lessons in the hope of helping him become more independent and less socially isolated.
I have provided Dominik with a mobile phone which makes contacting him easier. On two occasions his tent has been removed and all his belongings taken. I lost contact with Dominik the last time this happened as I did not know where to find him. Having such a simple thing as a phone provides Dominik with a sense of safety as he can contact me in the event of an emergency.
Dominik is alcohol dependent. I provide regular harm reduction advice and ensure he is aware of all the emergency services available should he require it. Although he is often heavily intoxicated by alcohol, at my request, Dominik now attends appointments sober. This is very positive news and a big step in him gaining control of their addiction.
Dominik is wary of services and at present is reluctant to attend alcohol rehabilitation services for support. As he now attends our meetings sober this has given us more time to sit and use google translate to have more in-depth conversations and understand his interests. We have been able to host mindfulness sessions at St Anne’s Resource Centre. We have listened to music, done craft work and completed mandalas. We have also been on walks.
The plan for Dominik’s future is uncertain. We continue to investigate opportunities for Dominik to potentially access benefits and possibly housing. We are also looking into accessing a national insurance number for Dominik.