Our Homelessness programme ‘Two Step’ provides a specialised housing service for single people in London who are homeless. The shortage of affordable accommodation has many causes and means that lots of people are at risk of homelessness if something unexpected happens.
Brett was sleeping in his van after a relationship breakdown and losing his job, but the freezing temperatures made it unbearable. Shortly after being referred to HOPE worldwide, he was offered a flat and was able to begin to rebuild his life. We kept in touch and recommended that he visit a partner agency to help him find employment. He completed construction skills training and, with the support of HOPE worldwide, managed to find work.
When reflecting on what he went through he said, “I never thought it would happen to me – I had my business, a relationship and a home. I am grateful that Two Step helped me find somewhere to live quickly and stuck with me through the dark times. I am happy that things are looking up now that I have hope again.”
Two Step works in partnership with night shelters, day centres, councils and other charities who refer people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness to our service. We then do our best to help people find suitable accommodation so that they can move on with their lives and avoid the downward spiral of life of the streets.
We strive to treat each person that comes to us with respect, dignity and compassion and to help them find somewhere to live. To find out more about our work, and how you can get involved, please visit the programme website www.twostep.org.uk
How people access our service
How to talk to someone you think is homeless
Homelessness is very isolating. Those who are on the street can feel invisible. You can start by getting down on their level, introducing yourself and asking about their situation. Many people on the streets are using day centres and getting some kind of support; others might need some advice about how to get help or would just appreciate somebody taking the time to talk and listen to them.
How to help – remember the acronym ALERT – see text and video below:
Ask – Get on their level, introduce yourself and ask if they are homeless and if anyone is helping them. If they are not, they might benefit from being directed to a local project that can help them claim benefits for example.
Listen – Many people are happy to share their story of what happened and what they are trying to do about it. They may request something in particular that you can get them – better to ask than to assume.
Empathise – Empathy and compassion are very powerful. Many people become homeless because of things beyond their control. Even if you can’t help directly, people will appreciate that you took the time to listen and empathise.
Respond – Depending on what they share you might be able to do something. Share what you can do (see below) and ask them if they would like you to do that.
Take Action – You could do something there and then like asking them if they would like something in particular to eat or drink, or that would help them keep warm or cool depending on the weather. If you wanted do a bit of research to find out about local organisations, you could use nextmeal.co.uk
To send an alert to ‘Streetlink’ use streetlink.org.uk/