A Day in the Life of a HARP Support Worker
"Just because someone is at rock bottom doesn’t mean they can’t fly in the future.”
Donna is one of our Support Workers at the Bradbury Day Centre. As a first point of contact, she plays a pivotal role in helping our service users to avoid or escape homelessness. We chatted about her role:
How do you start your working day?
“I arrive at 8.30am so that I’m ready for when people come through the doors at 9am. I usually start by greeting the people who have been working or staying with us overnight, then I’ll check emails for updates from other teams or organisations.
“When the day centre opens, I might go to the dining room to chat to people who have come in for the rough sleeper breakfast - it’s a great way to get to know them and find out what support they might need. I might also get straight into doing assessments with service users who range from people who have been on the streets for years to those worried about losing their home.”
What do you find most interesting about the job?
“I love the fact that it varies so much day-to-day. There’s also a real feeling of accomplishment to know that I’ve helped make a difference. I think my background helps me to really connect with people because I understand where they are coming from – I know what it feels like to be at rock bottom, having fled domestic violence myself in the past.”
What is the biggest lesson you've learned
“I’ve learned that there are 101 reasons why someone might become homeless. It’s not as simple as saying: “Get a job and do something.” A lot of the people who come through our doors have been through real trauma but they are still standing and trying to live their life.
“I’ve also learned that people might stumble more than I first thought but never to give up on them. Just because someone is at rock bottom doesn’t mean they can’t fly in the future.”