Rebecca, Outreach Worker


Rebecca, who joined our Richmond Rough Sleeper Outreach team this summer, explains how educational her role has been. As an Outreach Worker, she supports people to reclaim their lives and get housed.

“This job has been very educational, I’m always learning.

I’ve grown a lot since I started, in just four months! I learned how to listen to people without judgement. I don’t think people see homelessness as the complex thing it is, it is very nuanced and multifaceted.

SPEAR offers fantastic support and I like what we offer in terms of tenancy support, which is very important as without support it can be really challenging for someone who has been rough sleeping to maintain a tenancy.

Not many people realise how complex homelessness is. It is so complex and everybody’s story is so unique, as well as the personal barriers they face when trying to overcome issues.
I often find that people struggling with substance abuse don’t think they deserve help- these people touch me the most.

Recently, I supported two people who were sleeping rough to get accommodation, one into a shared house and the other into a rough sleeper initiative flat- it’s the part of my job I love the most!
They had both been sleeping rough for months – one of them had been living on the streets for ten years. He is now really engaged and is a part of SPEAR’s Peer Mentoring programme- he really wants to become an Outreach Worker.

I feel privileged to have played a tiny part as life hadn’t given them a break in a long time.”

Other stories...

Igor’s story

Our Outreach team have been supporting Igor, aged 33, who was found sleeping rough in Richmond.

Daniella’s story

At only 22, Daniella was approached by our Outreach team while sleeping rough. She had been sofa surfing during her last year at university, where she studied English literature. After joining SPEAR’s peer mentoring programme, the Springboard project supported Daniella to take a Level 3 Education and Training course. She now works for a charity as a career specialist to support young people who have been through the care system to receive training and employment and rents her own flat.

Ashley’s story

Ashley first experienced homelessness at the young age of 16 due to a family breakdown before finding work with accommodation. Just over 18, he lost his job and was pushed into homelessness again. He spent a few months sofa surfing before having to sleep rough.

Andy’s story

Andy experienced homelessness when, under complex circumstances, he could not access his home or tools. After losing everything and several months on the streets, Andy’s mental health worsened. After coming into contact with SPEAR, Andy was assigned a case worker who supported him to find accommodation and get involved with the local community.