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...

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.