21st December 2018

Outreach in Bradford

One of our outreach workers in Bradford has provided us with an overview of what they got up to in November – it was a busy month!

It is difficult to imagine just how busy the Simon on the Streets Outreach Workers are. Day to day they support our ongoing service users as well as trying to manage effective outreach in order to find those who cannot or will not access other services. As well as the 'routine' day to day work of meetings, advocacy, and appointments with housing, benefits, medical services and the criminal justice system, there are the outreach sessions about the city looking for people who need our support.

Evening outreach has been very successful this month. For example, whilst out one evening, our Outreach Worker came across an individual who was homeless. After speaking to them about their situation our worker called a hostel, booked the individual in for an assessment and they were able to move in there the next day! We really wish all such encounters were so successful, unfortunately not everyone can cope with the hostel-like environments of emergency accommodation and they do not always have empty beds.

On a morning outreach session our Outreach Worker met an individual who was homeless and sofa surfing. Our worker rang a housing provider, booked them in for an assessment that afternoon, helped them get their ID, sourced a starter home pack for them from Inn Churches, picked up food from a local food bank for them and they moved into the flat that day. Again, another positive event!. Unfortunately for our ongoing service users, who are typically entrenched rough sleepers, help is not so easy to obtain due to their chaotic life and severe mental health issues, which makes obtaining and sustaining accommodation incredibly difficult.

Whilst sat in a medical centre waiting room with one of our service users, our Outreach Worker spoke to an individual who was currently homeless. Our Outreach Worker rang the local hostel and they were able to get the individual in for an assessment. The individual was able to move in that day!

 

 

The severe weather protocol was implemented one night in November and our Outreach Worker was on evening outreach in Bradford that night. The cold weather protocol is great as those from Eastern Europe with no recourse to public funding are normally not able to access emergency accommodation. However, the council must accommodate them when the severe weather protocol is implemented. For example, three Eastern Europeans that our Outreach Worker had met at a day shelter, who told our Outreach Worker that they were sleeping in a container, are able to access beds when the severe weather protocol is on. Three rough sleepers our Outreach Worker spoke to were also offered beds for the night but they did not take up the offer.

This work was all on top of the daily support our Outreach Worker provides to our service users. In that month our Outreach Worker made 26 visits to services, including housing, job centres, denists and GPS, to accompany people they are supporting. 15 visits to services were also made that month to support individuals in accessing services for the first time. General support for our service users was provided to 11 individuals and our Outreach Worker also provided food for service users by either sourcing food parcels or buying food. 

Finding and engaging with our service users can be tough as they are often on the move but last month our Outreach Worker found and engaged with two service users they had been looking for. Two other service users were housed that month.

All in a days work for our outreach team!

Other Blog Posts

1st March 2019

Navigating universal credit

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about universal credit in the news. Universal credit combines six benefits, including housing benefit, tax credits and jobseeker’s allowance, into one monthly payment. Universal credit has now been rolled out in Leeds and Bradford, creating many difficulties for our service users.

Practical Support

17th December 2018

Aaron's success

Aaron (not his real name) has been working with one of our Outreach Workers for nearly two years. Read more about his journey:

Emotional Support, Bradford, Practical Support, Service User Stories