Rob, Rough Sleeper Navigator


Rob,  Rough Sleeper Outreach Navigator, works with people who find themselves rough sleeping and who might have more complex needs. He explains how empathy and an understanding of homelessness are vital to supporting people off the streets.

” I work with those who might have more complex needs and have lived on the streets for years, even decades. I often think of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and work from the bottom up. There’s a huge nuance as to why people are pushed into homelessness, it can be because they have been let down by a care system when younger and, because of that, they struggle to trust others. That’s why we offer a bespoke, person-centred approach.

I didn’t know what to expect on my first shift, but it is always an honour and privilege to build relationships with others. The human connection is vital and even more so in this job. It’s a two-way relationship and clients and I work off each other, I learn a lot from them.

The experience as a whole touches me. I learned how to accept that people have been through hardships and work with them to fulfil their needs, and to support them to accept that they deserve more, deserve to be part of the world. I try to find ways to bring hope into someone’s life.

SPEAR’s services are amazing – it really is great how SPEAR works with other organisations and takes a holistic approach to link people to the different services a client might need.

The greatest thing about working at SPEAR is how everyone supports each other, it’s like a family.”


Other stories...

Rebecca, Outreach Worker

Rebecca joined Richmond’s Rough Sleeper Outreach team earlier this Summer. She explains what she has gained from her role and how everybody’s story is unique.

Jordan’s story

Jordan, 49, was forced into homelessness after his mental health issues became too hard to deal with. With no one to turn to, Jordan ended up sleeping rough for half a year.

Lara’s story

Lara was introduced to SPEAR after successfully completing a twelve-steps course in order to overcome addiction.