The Outreach Team came across a tent during their shift. They approached it and found a young man inside. He was a little unsure at first and did not want to share much information with us. After getting into a conversation with him he told us that he has been released from prison with no fixed abode and had no where to go, so he was forced to sleep on the streets. He had no source of income and was not in receipt of any benefits. We worked with him to discuss his options with regards to housing. He said he had an appointment with the council housing options which he was going to attend that week. We encouraged him to go there and to explain his situation to them. We said we could help him to set up a benefits claim and he was happy for us to support him with this.
The next time we visited he was a little more relaxed and he started to open up to us. He told us he was struggling with his mental health due to his situation and that he uses cannabis to deal with his thoughts. We advised that we could get a mental health worker out to see him who works specifically with rough sleepers and he was happy with this. We also signposted him to rehabilitation and support services for his drug use although he expressed that he did not feel ready to do this at this moment in time.
We carried on visiting this person every few days and we started to build up a good rapport with him. We brought the mental health worker out to see him and facilitated the initial engagement. He has agreed to continue working with them in the future. He did tell us that he had a property before he went to prison, but he had lost it due to rent arrears. He also did not have a phone and could not get into contact with his probation officer. We supported him by calling probation services and helping him to gain contact with his worker. He has since contacted his probation officer and is now doing well in emergency accommodation and the chance of him reoffending is low. We are continuing to work with him to set up his benefits claim and are in the process of completing housing forms with him for more long-term accommodation in the future.