The outreach team have been working with a rough sleeper for a while, when normally this rough sleeper insists that there is nothing that the outreach team can do to help him a long conversation with this person identified some areas that we could support him with. Some of the things that the individual identified were having no contact with his family for a long time and not accessing appropriate benefits as finding this process too overwhelming. As well as this, the rough sleeper was also suffering from anxiety on a daily basis that made aspects of his life difficult. The outreach team built up a relationship with this rough sleeper and supported him to a doctor’s appointment so that he could obtain a sick note and to discuss his concerns about how anxious he was feeling and how this was encouraging him to use substances more, particularly to sleep on a night. Not only has this rough sleeper gone from not seeing his GP to attending numerous GP appointments when supported by the outreach team but he has also had numerous blood tests and received a sick note when he has a phobia of needles and felt too overwhelmed to attend the GP surgery to get a sick note for a long time. This person has also been placed on some anxiety medication to help with the symptoms that he is suffering from daily.
Once the sick note was obtained the team worked with the rough sleeper and supported him to make a new claim for benefits so that he could access appropriate benefits. This was a long process as this individual does not have an address or a bank account with the rough sleeper admitting many times that he would have given up by now if he was doing this alone. With his first payment he bought a mobile phone which is what he said he was going to do so that he could keep in touch with everyone. The outreach team became aware that he had received his first payment of benefits because he made contact with us on his new mobile phone! The team have supported this rough sleeper to open a bank account so that he had somewhere safe to put his money as he feels vulnerable with it on the streets. This was difficult as the individual does not have any ID which means that we had to go through an appeals process, we have been successful in opening him a bank account!
During this work and through conversations with the rough sleeper it became apparent that there had been a lot of relationship breakdowns in his life and this was having a negative impact on the way that he was feeling. He disclosed to us that he had not been in contact with his family for a long time and they had no idea whether he was safe or not. The rough sleeper informed us that he did want to work on the relationships with his family. The outreach team worked with the rough sleeper to write out post cards for his family which included his mobile number so that his family could contact him. Recently, the rough sleeper has informed us that since he has sent the postcards his mum, dad and sister have all been in touch with him which he is very pleased about, and we are too! He has assured us that now he has their numbers he is keen to stay in regular contact with his family.
Most recently, the outreach team have been working very closely with this rough sleeper to get him accommodated where he wanted to be. We are very pleased to say that this individual has now been accommodated and is very happy to be settling in to this new accommodation! 😊