Support work

Simon on the Streets is an independent charity that works with those who have unmet complex needs and cannot or will not access mainstream services. Within that group the focus is on people who are homeless and rootless, especially those with issues related to rough sleeping.

OUTREACH SUPPORT

We offer support on an entirely outreach basis with no time limits thus removing many of the key barriers to engagement experienced in this field. Recognising emotional support as a high value offering, we understand that building a quality relationship with our clients will underpin any support given. Our workers support people to find aspirations and give unlimited opportunities to achieve sustainable positive change.

Our intensive support programme aims to engage with hard to reach individuals and offer the appropriate support so that they can begin to make positive changes in their lives. This generally means motivational work, and support with managing the changes our clients will experience as well as more practical support around the specific issues faced. As we aim to support those who find engaging with services particularly challenging progress can be slow. However, our vision is to remain dedicated to these individuals and keep changing our approach until we find a way of working that supports each individual positively.

 

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All of our work is done on an outreach basis, on the street or inside services. Our support workers aim to build relationships with their clients that are based on trust. This work is usually done on a 1-2-1 basis or with the support of another worker or volunteer.

Our support workers are full time and the majority of their time on outreach is during normal working hours. This is so that work engaging clients with services can be done, as and when the time is right for them. We also operate evening outreach, at least twice a week in all three of our projects (Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield). This work is done with the support of volunteers who are trained to work alongside the support workers they assist. Our soup runs are not static, but mobile (more of a soup walk!) allowing us to engage with rough sleepers who are the most hard to reach and those who would not choose to access food or support from a static food service. The soup walk is crucial to our work, but is not about the soup. The soup acts as an icebreaker, as something to share, to help build engagements and relationships with vulnerable people who literally have no-where to turn to. The journey to becoming a significant someone in the life someone who has no-one, begins with the soup, the rest is about time and empathy and totally non-judgmental, unconditional support.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT FOR ITS OWN SAKE (AND THE KNOCK ON EFFECTS)

Simon on the Streets provide a vital role of being someone (as an organisation not individually) who those who have nowhere else to turn, can turn to for unconditional support. We are a group of people who will show interest in them in a respectful, tolerant, empathetic manner aimed at empowering them to improve their self image and begin to think about making positive changes in their lives, but we ask for nothing in return.

For many people this kind of relationship that centres on them, their thoughts and desires, their aspirations, their regrets, is key to the kind of self reflection that is necessary before any kind behaviour change will have any real chance of success!

 

A FOCUS ON THOSE WHO DON’T GET A SERVICE FROM OTHER AGENCIES

The people who we support are often those who are excluded from, or who refuse the intervention of other services. This group of people are often identified by services as those who will not achieve progress and they are therefore left unsupported. 

MOTIVATIONAL WORK AROUND ACCESSING SERVICES

Our skills, knowledge and experience put us in the ideal position to re-examine the relationships of service users and services that have not been useful in the past. We can, through a combination of good case work and good partnership work, enable service users to reach a point where they feel able to access the specialist support services they need. We can simultaneously work with agencies and support them in their work with the service user.

LONG TERM SUPPORT

Our priority as a service is to support those with unmet complex needs. Although a key factor in identifying those who need our support will be that they are rough sleeping (or at the very least at risk of rough sleeping) the support we offer our clients will continue beyond the point of them being housed in the vast majority of cases. This is because we recognise that having a tenancy does not mean that the complex needs of that individual have been met. Many of our clients see rough sleeping as a safer choice for them, and whilst they are unable to feel safe at a place they call ‘home’ and engaging with services to a level that supports their needs, we will continue our support

INTENSIVE SUPPORT

Our intensive support programme aims to engage with hard to reach individuals and offer the appropriate support so that they can begin to make positive changes in their lives. This generally means motivational work, and support with managing the changes our clients will experience as well as more practical support around the specific issues faced. As we aim to support those who find engaging with services particularly challenging progress can be slow. However, our vision is to remain dedicated to these individuals and keep changing our approach until we find a way of working that supports each individual positively.

WEEKLY SOUP-RUN

One night a week, we operate a ‘soup-run’. But it’s not about the soup…
Once a week, every week we take soup out to our service users in the evening. But, it’s not about the soup. For us at Simon On The Streets, soup is so much more valuable than you would expect. To us it is more than a winter warmer, more than a starter, more than something to stave off hunger for a short time; it’s something to share with someone, something to break the ice with and something to offer to someone. As an organisation we’re not about feeding people – to our knowledge none of the people we have ever worked with have died from hunger. However, we are an organisation that is there for the long haul. We are there to build trust and develop relationships, to offer unconditional support.