Neil Partridge – Street Outreach Team
We were doing a shift near to Trafalgar Square and we came across a man sleeping rough wrapped up in a blanket down an alley way. When we woke him he seemed quite startled, which may be because it was early in the morning.
We explained that we were the street Outreach team from The Connection and were here to help him. He then said he was having problems with his arm. We were on shift with a nurse and she felt his arm and thought it could be broken. He agreed to come with us to get his arm checked out at the hospital.
And we explained that once his arm was ok we’d be able to help him find accommodation. At this point he started to cry and said that he’d been on the streets for a while and didn’t believe we were here to help him. The reason he’d not been found by our team before is because he wasn’t sleeping rough in our area and was moving around – sleeping in different places. I showed him my Westminster council ID and told him about no second night out (NSNO) and he still looked in disbelief. But we continued to talk to him and told him that once his arm was ok we could refer him to the HUB. The thing that touched me the most was that he’d become so helpless that he couldn’t believe that we were here to help him off the streets after all this time.