Street Life is funded by Bolton Council. It works with rough sleepers and other homeless people with complex and enduring needs. Many of our clients are excluded from accessing mainstream housing routes due to past histories of rent arrears, evictions, offending and anti-social behaviour.
“We re-house around 200 homeless people a year through partnerships with a range of private landlords and temporary accommodation providers.”
Client Stories - Street Life
About Street Life
Every Tuesday we run a housing drop-in and clinic service at the Urban Restore Centre where around 30-40 people access the service for help on housing and other benefit issues. Alongside our support, the NHS Homeless and Vulnerable Team Nurse Practitioners run a clinic service and the Bolton Integrated Drug and Alcohol Service (BIDAS) provide a drop-in service.
“Urban Outreach’s expertise in securing accommodation and providing support for homeless people is invaluable in the borough. Their knowledge and expertise plays a major part in Bolton’s Homelessness prevention strategy. They have a proven track record of working in partnership, achieving success in finding suitable accommodation and sustaining clients over the longer term.”
Housing Options and Advice Services Group Manager, Bolton Council
Living rough can become the norm for some men. There is usually a set of tragic circumstances that has forced them on to the street and keeps them there. They like to wander around certain areas which become familiar to them, knowing where to bed down in undergrowth, old buildings, or doorways and where to beg for money, food or alcohol. They become alienated from people and the agencies that could possibly help them. Some rough sleepers have chaotic, abusive, anti-social behaviour and this makes life unbearable for the local communities.
We recently worked with such a man who had been referred to us by a local agency. He had been put in to temporary accommodation because he was sleeping rough during the severe winter weather conditions and his health was deteriorating.
Street Life were asked to find more permanent accommodation for him. We supported him in this accommodation and made sure he had clothing, food and toiletries. However it became apparent that he was not coping with a life away from the streets and wasn’t looking after himself or his flat and started displaying anti-social behaviour. Street Life continued to visit him, cleaning up the flat and helping him as much as we could. His health was still a concern and we registered him with a local doctor and an assessment on his health was made shortly afterwards.
At the beginning of December we made one of our regular visits to his flat and found him collapsed on the floor in a very bad way. We rang the ambulance and he was rushed to hospital. We continued to visit him in hospital where he was in a very serious condition for a number of weeks. As his health improved bit by bit we were able to offer support and be there for him when he wanted to talk to someone as he often got confused with his situation.
Over the weeks his condition continued to improve and during that time Street Life was able to work alongside other agencies to look at his options once he left hospital. Arrangements were made for him to go into a nursing home. We continued to support him during his time in the nursing home, taking him for a bus pass and on various outings such as shopping for clothing, footwear and toiletries. We also liaised between him and the nursing home staff when his behaviour became abusive in order to defuse the situation.
Although he was getting stronger his behaviour became disruptive and unacceptable. He wouldn’t abide by the rules, often smoking and drinking, didn’t respect other people’s property and would stay out all night without letting the staff know. More suitable accommodation for him had to be found. On a positive note his health was very good and he was walking much better.
He was moved from the nursing home into temporary bed and breakfast accommodation whilst we waited for a property to be made available. During that time he wandered off and slept rough on the streets endangering his health yet again. He ended up at accident and emergency. Street Life was notified and we went to visit him. He was in the high dependence unit and his condition was deteriorating. We helped to notify his next of kin and we continued to liaise with them during his illness, and recovery. When he eventually left hospital we arranged for him to go into a temporary bed and breakfast until his permanent accommodation was ready.
At the end of March he was able to move into his own flat and he was very pleased to have his new home, complete with carpets, curtains and furniture. We were able to get some additional items for him with the help of local charitable organisations. His life is completely different now from the life he lived on the streets. His health has improved; he is cooking for himself and keeping himself clean. He is happy with the things he has in his flat and spends time cleaning and washing up. He is successfully maintaining his tenancy, and the Street Life worker has been able to reduce the frequency of his visits to a low level, offering support and help when needed.