Ken has been helped to get away from the streets
Every night of the year, outreach workers from Thames Reach go out on patrol, helping people who are sleeping rough to get off the streets, and start getting their lives back on track.
69-year-old Ken, pictured huddled under a blanket on the streets, is now safely housed.
Out on patrol
Thames Reach outreach worker Zsofia and volunteer Steve encountered Ken on London’s streets. Outreach teams work in pairs to enhance their safety. Responding to referrals made by members of public, they seek out people seen sleeping rough, whether they be on the streets, in parks, or on patches of wasteland.
Outreach in action
While the capital sleeps, outreach teams operate long into the night to help destitute people bedded down on the streets.
Ken had been known to support services for nearly a decade, moving in and out of hostels and accommodation. He struggles with an addiction to damaging super-strength lagers, which in turn impacts on his behaviour and health.
Zsofia is hopeful that he’ll settle into his accommodation this time around – he has been helped to register with a GP at a local health centre, and has been accompanied and supported in his dealings with the local council housing team. His finances have been sorted out, and staff have obtained a copy of his birth certificate which he can use as ID.
In their words
“I lost touch with my family but Thames Reach have been very understanding of my needs and situation. I feel more secure now I am not on the streets and receiving their help.”
“I met Ken again recently when I took him to a local opticians to get him glasses. He’s looking a lot better and he was cheerful. He’s got some problems he needs to address but he’s a lovely guy and we might be able to get him to do some volunteering now he is housed.”
If you see anyone sleeping rough, please contact Streetlink and an outreach team will respond to your referral.