Aiden (real name not used) was sleeping rough for some time. Often seen in doorways or sheltering under bridges, he refused offers of help.
Aiden has a deep mistrust of services. When we did see him and try to talk to him, he rarely said more than “hello” to us.
On a rainy and cold evening we saw Aiden and approached him as normal. He was upset and embarrassed, and began talking to us very fast. He told us that his personal belongings had been stolen. Usually, Aiden wore many layers of clothing to protect him from the weather. He was now only wearing a t-shirt and trousers. His boots and socks had also been stolen.
We were able to provide Aiden with new shoes, clothing, thermals and a sleeping bag. We offered to help Aiden into emergency accommodation, but he still severely mistrusts services and refused.
We stayed with Aiden for a while, until he felt calmer. We talked about where he would bed down for the night. He chose somewhere well-lit, with cameras nearby.
We continue to visit Aiden regularly. We’re slowly building up trust, hoping one day, when he’s ready, he will accept our offer of support.