Our Theory of Change – Working With, Not For
Finding a home is a physical and mental journey. So that’s how we approach homelessness – by providing the physical means to make a change, and building the right mindset to maintain it. However someone pictures ‘home’, even if it doesn’t involve housing, this is how we help them on their way.
Meet Mary and Rick and watch our Theory of Change in action here!
How it works…
Step 1 – Reaching out
We start small. With a chat, or the offer of a hot drink. Sounds simple, but this is often the most challenging part. It’s normal for people living on the streets to feel angry or hesitant to get help. They may have been rejected or misunderstood by support services in the past. We do everything we can to establish a feeling of safety, showing them change is possible. We listen to their individual needs, and adapt. If someone needs emergency help, we stay with them, building trust as we go.
Step 2 – Keeping the conversation going
Whether it takes weeks or months, the person we’re engaging with sets the pace of the conversation. We create a shared language to better understand their goals and potential risks. Together, we figure out what’s keeping them in a cycle of rough sleeping. And what we can do to break it.
Step 3 – Future plans
Change comes only when the person is ready. We motivate them to picture the future they want, and offer the resources to help them get there. Meetings might be more regular now, or involve group activities at our day centre. This gets them involved with our wider community, and gives them access to any services they might need.
Step 4 – Making a change
Time to take action. Often this includes getting into some form of housing, but not always. We stay by their side, physically and mentally. Connecting someone with the right services and helping them make sense of the process with our shared language. Acting as mediators, we advocate for them to make sure their needs are met by support systems.
Step 5 – Staying on track
Working together, we create change that lasts. Whether that’s finding furniture for a new home, or connecting with their local community. As our relationship comes to a natural end, we review how far we’ve come, and encourage them to look forward to a new chapter.
Step 6 – Independence
Everyone should be able to take their well-being and safety into their own hands. By going on this journey with us, someone who comes to The Connection can do just that. Rebuilding self-esteem, resilience and relationships along the way. If they need support in the future, they know exactly where to find us.