A Day In The Life Of Outreach Workers Gracie & Keziah
Gracie and Keziah have been Outreach Workers at HARP for over a year, working in a team of five to make contact with people sleeping rough in and around Southend-on-Sea and provide the support needed to get off the streets. They told us more about their roles:
What does your role normally involve?
As Outreach Workers, our role involves checking the welfare of rough sleepers, ensuring they are clothed appropriately and they have the correct supplies for sleeping outside. We assist them with accessing showering facilities and clean clothing which helps them to maintain self-worth. We also assist anyone needing to use phones or the internet for things such as applying for benefits, looking for properties and accessing other supporting agencies. And we make sure they are aware of other local services such as soup kitchens.
What’s the first thing you do when you get in?
At the beginning of a shift the first thing we do is check for Street Link alerts. These come directly from the public and allow us to identify new and existing rough sleepers and where they are located. We then use these to put together a list of areas we need to cover throughout the rest of the shift.
What are some of the challenges with your job?
Our job as Outreach Workers has many challenging aspects. We work with a very diverse range of people that have been made homeless for many different reasons such as people who have lost their jobs, relationship breakdowns, addiction and mental ill-health, all of which require different kinds and levels of support. However, working with a variety of people with different support needs also makes the job interesting.
What’s the most satisfying thing about your job?
The most satisfying thing about our job role in HARP is being the first people that a service user may interact with and then working with them from rough sleeping into our supported accommodation.
What do you love most about working for HARP?
We love working for HARP because we believe that we really do provide emergency and long-term support for people in desperate need.