Harry’s story

Harry was found asleep on a park bench, alone, lonely and vulnerable. With a history of substance misuse and mental health conditions, this made sleeping rough on the cold, dark streets even more of a struggle for him.

Dacorum’s Outreach team, who support rough sleepers and help them access local services, were soon on hand to support Harry with basic provisions such as dry clothes and toiletries. They continued to visit Harry regularly, ensuring his day-to-day needs were met.

As the visits became more regular, the team were able to build rapport and a level of trust. Harry soon felt comfortable attending our Day Centre, where he could access further support, such as a warm shower and a hot meal, while having a safe and welcoming place to shelter from the harsh weather.

Harry was at risk of missing out on vital prescribed medication for his mental health, as previously he hadn’t been supported to attend medical appointments. Understanding how important this medication was for Harry, the Outreach team secured regular transport to ensure he could access this essential healthcare. This made a huge difference to Harry and he was so thankful for the support.

With previous negative experiences of trying to find accommodation, and with limited housing options available to Harry, it seemed that rough sleeping was the only choice. However, with expert, tailored advice from the local authority and Outreach team, Harry has now found alternative accommodation and has started to take the next positive steps in his life, away from the cold and lonely streets.

Please note: Harry’s name and image have been changed to protect his anonymity.

If you are concerned about a rough sleeper in Dacorum, the Homeless Prevention and Outreach team are available and able to assist. You can contact the Outreach Team at outreach@dens.org.uk, call 01442 800131 (24 hours a day), or complete a referral via the Streetlink website.

Story published 10th November 2022. 

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