Whatever you face, The Connection will be there to support you and point you in the right direction.
We meet people where they’re at to offer the right support for them, guided by their priorities.
There is no linear journey through our services as everyone’s experiences are different. The below are just a few of the services people we support might encounter whilst working with The Connection.
For about 1/3 of the people we support, their relationship with us begins with our outreach team. Our daytime Street Engagement Team provides a proactive response to the issues of rough sleeping and street population in Westminster.
Our dedicated Street Engagement Advisors go out and about in pairs during shifts, which take place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Where we go in our outreach services is guided by referrals we receive from the local community and our knowledge of rough sleeping across the borough.
Our Advisors take time to carefully establish and develop trusting relationships with clients on the street – where we find them. We focus on their priorities, not our own, and work at their pace.
The people we talk to are often experiencing trauma or have been let down by services, family or friends Our experience has taught us that it is often time-consuming and painstaking work to build up the rapport and trust we need to be able to work effectively with each individual.
If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough or are rough sleeping yourself, you can always contact StreetLink online.
Behind the red door…
At our day centre on Adelaide Street, we offer a range of short-term support and advice which enables people to leave the streets run by our core services team. This includes hot meals, showers, space to sit and chat with others and so much more.
On Wednesday mornings, we run a women-only space to provide much-needed support to people often left out of mainstream services. Here, we run activities aimed at helping women feel safe and relaxed, often for the first time in years.
On Wednesday afternoon, this space shifts into our Prescription Clinic. This is a flexible drop-in service that offers rapid prescriptions for people who require drug and alcohol treatment but struggle to turn up to formal appointments. Last year, 92 people were supported by this service.
After some time using our basic support services, people may begin forming a trusting relationship with The Connection’s volunteers and staff.
Once this trust forms, people are more likely to accept in-depth support, this means working with our community and casework teams.
Our Community team deliver our community service. This includes access to our recovery and opportunities service to receive employment support and attend groups and activities.
This can include taking part in gardening, mindfulness, talking groups and creative writing.
We also have opportunities to improve a person’s skills and confidence.
This can mean training, volunteering and activities which aim to improve access to work – moving people towards integrating into the community.
We aim to co-produce these services and listen to our clients’ voices at every stage.
Additionally, our Enhanced Support team offers person-led support to a limited number of people with the most complex needs. These needs may take a long time to understand and respond to but we stick with people on their journey, no matter how long it takes.
Support beyond the red door
Our Resettlement teams works intensively with people sleeping rough to find accommodation and be able to maintain themselves there.
This work includes:
We also operate St Martin’s House which supports 22 people a year who need some extra help maintaining a tenancy and provides accommodation for up to two years as a stepping stone to a more permanent housing solution.
Soon, this will be converted into 18 Keys, in partnership with the St Martin’s Trust. This exciting project will transform St Martin’s House into a dedicated space with 18 self-contained studio flats for those who identify as women.
Our plans for the redevelopment include a communal space for people to come together. Intensive support will be available on-site.
Ultimately, people we support may engage with a range of services.
Whatever services people facing rough sleeping use at The Connection, some things are always constant: a friendly face, a warm welcome and the start of a dependable relationship.