The Outreach Team had been informed by the Police that there was a couple sleeping in a derelict building within the City. The police had already attended prior to the Outreach Team being informed. Due to the site being extremely hazardous we attended with the Fire Brigade to identify this couple and offer support.
When we arrived at the location it soon became apparent that this couple were rough sleeping in conditions that were unacceptable. The man hole covers that he been removed, glass and other hazardous object were scattered around the site. The Outreach team entered the building with torches and after some time managed to locate the couple at the back of the building. We identified ourselves and offered support as we needed to get them into accommodation which was safe.
The couple engaged with the Outreach Team but straight away said that they didn’t want to be separated as they had been together 22 years. We explained that it may not be possible to accommodate them in a double room, but would they accept a two single rooms in the same hostel. They stated that they wanted to work with us and would accepts anything if they could be together. As there were no emergency beds available in any of the hostels that night It was agreed that we would meet them the next day to try and accommodate them together.
The couple met us at a food provision as arranged and a SPOC referral as completed for both, again there were no emergency beds or rooms available for that day, so I said I would try again the next day.
Eventually the Outreach Team were able to accommodate the couple in two single rooms within a Hostel in the City. They were extremely grateful of the support that the Outreach Team, Fire Brigade and the Wilson Centre had given them as without this support they would still be living in squalid conditions. This couple are still accessing their beds and are working with a Support Worker within the Hostel to secure more permanent accommodation which in time will allow them to have contact with their children and family members. The Outreach Team see this couple regularly and they still thank the team for the support they were given to enable them to move forward to make positive changes to their lives.