Emma, who has worked for Catching Lives for eight years and specialises in outreach work, says helping people who are sleeping rough is so much more than securing accommodation for them.
Many people think that once a person has a front door key their problems are solved, but often this is not the case. People can feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of a home, or isolated in a new area.
They may need support with things like furnishing an empty flat, bills, mental health and recovery from addiction.
Statutory services are only able to assist in certain ways as they have a narrow remit to fulfil.
At Catching Lives, we can be flexible. Our focus can be on supporting people in their new home, for example helping them set up their bills and look for furniture. Sometimes people just need a nudge or a helping hand to feel less alone.
People might have lived with their parents for a long time or someone else who took care of the home or they might be young and haven’t had a home before.
Some services, like mental health and social work, are frequently overstretched and a lot of people are going under the radar and getting missed because they don’t meet the threshold for support, but they’re still isolated and needing help.
That’s where we come in, because we know that getting someone accommodation can just be the start – keeping it is a whole new matter.
Some people we support don’t know how to get involved in their local community and don’t know what’s out there. We can support them to engage with other organisations and start building networks in their new neighbourhood, as well as being able to come back to our day centre.
We offer a range of activities each day and students or members of staff can accompany people to meetings with other organisations.
People who are vulnerably housed or sleeping rough can be socially isolated. Catching Lives continues to help people when they have moved into accommodation, tackling social isolation and preventing a return to the streets.
If you’d like to support Catching Lives financially so we can continue this work, please do so via our donations page. Thank you!