Borderline

Supporting Homeless Scots in London

Jane’s Story

Jane* is a 30 year old female who has lived in London since she was a child. Jane has a long history of street present lifestyle, first recorded in Lambeth in 2012. As well as experiencing homelessness, Jane has drug and alcohol addiction, suffers from depression and anxiety, has a history of overdosing, has spent periods of time in prison, and has suffered mental and physical abuse at the hands of multiple partners. Jane has also disclosed that she was sexually assaulted while living on the street.

Jane’s engagement with support services has been sporadic due to her lifestyle and she has been accommodated in hostels and other temporary shelters unsuccessfully. As of 2016, our Scottish Outreach Worker (SOW) has supported Jane. Soon after, our Outreach Worker Alex called a case conference to address Jane’s homelessness and to put her forward for Housing First[1].

Unfortunately, the Westminster Commissioning team rejected the appeal.

In the meantime, Jane was referred to another hostel with her then partner. However, this was unsuccessful due to the sudden death of her partner. Jane then spent some time in prison due to a charge of assault. Upon release, she found herself homeless once again, her drug and alcohol misuse continued, and she was sexually assaulted.

Throughout this period, despite Jane’s chaotic behaviour, our Outreach Worker continued to support her. In November 2018, Jane began meaningfully engaging with us. With all options exhausted, our SOW called another case conference to put Jane forward again for Housing First. On review of the case and advocacy support from our Outreach Workers Kat and Alex, Jane was accepted.

Jane has now been allocated a Housing First Worker and continues to receive our ongoing support. Our Outreach Team have ensured that Jane has an open referral to The Green Room, a safe overnight space for women and we continue to work as the lead organisation to coordinate support. The Outreach Worker team meet with Jane weekly, attend appointments, advocate for Jane, and work to ensure all agencies are staying on track as agreed at the case conference.

*Names are confidential to respect anonymity of our clients

[1] Housing First is a model where a client who may present with a number of complex needs and traditional homeless services accommodation options have shown are not suitable for. This model ensures a client is placed in a tenancy with wrap around support put in place to support the individual to sustain the tenancy. When securely housed, they can then work with the support team to overcome barriers and engage in supportive and therapeutic relationships.