Welcoming people into The Connection

At The Connection we know how important it is to feel welcome and safe.

The wide range of practical services at our Adelaide Street in London centre support immediate health and well-being needs.

They also act as a platform from which more active engagement can develop and grow, supporting longer-term recovery.

The Basics:

Every morning, we welcome people to The Connection and make sure that people can sit down for breakfast, use our showers and laundry service and know when and where their appointments are.

The team gets to know people informally – when they hand over towels and toiletries, set someone up in front of a computer or perhaps escort someone to the nurse.

Over time, these small actions of practical support and kindness help to foster trust, and initial small talk can make way for real conversations about people’s lives.

When it really matters, it means people are much more likely to approach staff, so that they can be supported to resolve and remove themselves from unhealthy or dangerous situations that are damaging to their recovery.

When people first come to us, staff work get to know them by doing a welcome assessment. This allows us to discuss what their goals are and what support they would like to help achieve those goals.

Goals are hugely varied, which is why we work hard to ensure we get to know everyone as an individual.

We support people to:

  • find accommodation;
  • access onward referrals or supported reconnection to anyone whose needs can be better met elsewhere;
  • resolve issues with their migration status and to make onward referrals when needed;
  • claim benefits and universal credit for financial support;
  • link in with other support services to help people to move away from the streets – like nurses, psychologists and substance use treatment specialists;
  • access activities and groups that help people to build the skills, confidence and resilience to recover from homelessness;
  • search for and get into work.
  • Depending on the person’s situation, they are allocated a key worker who will support them into an action plan to achieve their goals.

    Key workers are at the heart of everything we do. Their patience, tenacity, understanding and hard work are essential to help people recover, solve problems, and get themselves where they want to be.

    Welcoming people to The Connection for the long-term

    We believe working intensively with people who have complex needs is the best way to maximise our impact and make the biggest difference to rough sleeping in Westminster.

    Our experience tells us that intensive support on a number of fronts is the best way to support people to start to change their lives. This is often a very long process, and people can have stops, starts, or go backwards.

    We stay patient, supportive and help people go at their pace – and never give up on people.

    This long-term work is mostly carried out by our Community and Enhanced Support teams:

  • Our Community team will deliver our Community service. This will include all core services and access to our recovery and opportunities service to receive employment support and attend groups and activities.
  • Our Enhanced Support team will offer person-led support to a limited number of people with the most complex needs.