Case Study March 2021

The outreach team have been working with a rough sleeper for 10 months on and off. We first came across him bedded down on a mattress that he found on the street. He initially told us that he was waiting for a friend and he will be going to stay with them later on. We kept visiting the area to make sure that he was not there and had indeed gone to go and stay with his friend. We went there day and night and when we visited, he was there 90% of the time. We asked him where his friend was, but he would say that he is still coming. This story went on for weeks and we knew that his friend was not coming. We understand that he might have felt embarrassed to tell us that he was rough sleeping but us as a team we do not judge people or want to make them feel embarrassed, we are just there to help as much as we can. We kept visiting him, but he would not engage very well with the outreach team, we made sure that he had warm clothes and bedding. We tried to see if he would consider going indoors but he said that he was fine and that he was adamant that he will be going to his friends. The rough sleeper then disappeared and was not seen for around 6 months and then re-appeared in a tent. We asked him where he has been staying but he did not wish to tell us. He was talking about a higher being and that people were stealing his money out of his bank. It was evident that his mental health was not great and we were really concerned that it had deteriorated whilst being on the streets. We put a referral into the local mental health team too see if they could offer any support.
As a team we spoke with Hull City Council and asked them if there was anything for him since he was not able to access public funds due to not having settled status or universal credit. The council agreed that they would temporarily house him and then look at a more permanent place for him to reside. The team went to go and tell him the good news and I think we caught him at a good time because he was very grateful that we managed to get him indoors. We were still really concerned about his mental health because he talked to himself a lot as well. The rough sleeper also disclosed to us that he used to be in the army overseas. This could have impacted on his mental health, but he did not wish to talk about life in the army. Also, with the contributing factor that he did not have a place to reside prior to the council’s offering and he was street homeless, it would have not helped his mental health.
The team would like to thank the efforts of Hull City Council, mental health team and the private sector team without all these agencies helping he would unfortunately still be sleeping on the streets.

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