Supporting Ewa to reach people sleeping on the streets at night
The Connection’s outreach team are on the streets every night, offering support to homeless people. On an average shift, keyworker Ewa typically walks seven miles around the City of Westminster. As she walks she looks through railings and behind stairways to check the hidden spots in our busy city for the homeless people who need our help. Ewa explains.
‘There are so many people out there that I can’t reach everyone. I might speak to 20 people, giving advice about housing, support for health or addiction, and how to access services. If I find someone new I can send them to the assessment centre where they can get a bed for the night.
‘You have to understand people. Why they do what they do, what made them who they are, and what happened to them to put them on the street. I’m often working with people that no one else can help. And every case is urgent.’
On a recent shift Ewa spoke to John, who had been sleeping on the street for a month.
‘He was suddenly evicted from his place. His job pays minimum wage so it is hard to find somewhere to afford. And a homeless hostel will only take people on housing benefits. The night I met him all the assessment centres were full, so I couldn’t help him. It is so horrible leaving someone on the street.
‘Every donation makes a difference. We really need more keyworkers. Then I could reach more people, and not so many would go undetected.’
Volunteer support worker Piotr often joins Ewa on her shift, he said: ‘I was on the streets of London for seven years. So I can tell homeless people that it is possible to change their life. When I see people make that change, it makes me very proud.’