Advice & support

If you are going through the misfortune of homelessness, we can offer a warm bed during the winter.

But we aim for more than that.  We’d like to help you get back onto your feet in a more enduring way.

We see our winter night shelter as a stepping stone rather than a destination.

Making a lasting difference is some of our most satisfying work.

Last winter, after our night shelter, nearly three quarters of our guests did not return to homelessness.

Seeing the wider picture

People don’t often become homeless for no reason, and we want to help our guests never return to sleeping rough.

“As an advice worker, planning ‘move on options’ with guests, I often see case work leading into legal matters, financial problems and health considerations. This year we have seen the introduction of the government welfare reforms and the changes that have a direct impact on many of the guests staying in the shelter.”

Crispin Green, Robes Advice Worker – Helping homeless people in a lasting way

Advice and support

We create an environment where our guests are mutually supported.  They feel safe, and able to focus on taking positive steps out of homelessness.  We help them navigate this journey.

“The volunteers went above and beyond to help us, especially to find accommodation (which was my main concern), spending hours just calling housing agencies, speaking to landlords on my behalf and actually visiting properties.”

Robes guest – read more of his story

Our advice work with our current and former guests includes:

  • Working alongside a guest
  • Getting details of any previous housing and employment history, health needs and what links may exist to other services (assessment)
  • Helping a guest engage with a range of complementary services (signposting and casework)
  • Developing an action plan with the referring agency to meet the individual needs of the guest
  • Visiting the guest regularly in our night shelter to monitor their wellbeing
  • Ensuring direct contact with guest and encouraging good engagement on working towards agreed goals (setting goals)
  • For guests who have no recourse to public funds, looking at health needs, access to legal advice, and ensuring complementary support from services for refugees and asylum seekers
  • Working with outreach teams and reconnections services
  • Continuing to work closely with the local day centres and support services who referred the guest to us originally
  • Working with Crisis Skylight, St Mungo’s local employment academy and other organisations and businesses to help our guests find employment

Inn from the Cold

Working with the Manna Society we have set up Inn from the Cold to help get our guests back into permanent accommodation.

For guests who are ready for this option, we introduce them to private landlords with affordable properties, negotiate any up front costs, and if needed, advance the deposit on behalf of our guest.

Once our guests are in their new home, we support them to help create lasting, happy relationships between them and their new landlord.

“It is a really great thing that you do, offering help with costs of the deposit and rent in advance. They make all the difference between sleeping rough or having a place to stay”

Robes guest

If you’re a landlord with a suitable property, please do get in touch.

Community activities

Our guests are often going through tough times.  We love to be able to offer them small opportunities to reconnect with life’s modest pleasures.

For example, in May 2016 four of our winter night shelter guests went on a short break to the Yorkshire countryside through a project organised by Housing Justice, giving them the opportunity to socialise and recharge.

“The Scargill Community were a nice welcoming group. We had peace and quiet without any police or ambulance sirens. The food was amazing. We had fresh air and scenic walks. The highlight was going to Mullen Cove.”

Robes guest

Case study – nothing but the clothes he stood up in

What to do when someone comes to us with no paperwork, no possessions, no family, and only hazy recollections of his history?

He remembered being threatened by a ferocious dog while sleeping in the stairwell of a block of flats, and how he took to sleeping on the commons after that.

As well as giving him a warm bed in our night shelter, we worked to get him medical help, benefits and housing.  Now he has a room in a shared supported house and a council keyworker, to continue supporting him in reclaiming his wider life.

Read the full story here

Case study – Mr L

Mr L’s employer refused to pay him the wages they had agreed, and a solicitor charged him for support that he could have had for free with Legal Aid.  He lost his work accommodation, and became homeless.

After welcoming him into our night shelter, we looked at how else we could help him.

A Robes volunteer went with him to his court case, where the judge ruled that his employer should repay his unpaid wages, which we helped him recover from his former employer.

Get involved

Your help can make a world of difference.

Do get involved by volunteering, donating or fundraising.

Read more

The last year in numbers

Our 2016/17 shelter season has just come to an end, and we can safely say it’s been a big year for Robes! From running two shelters simultaneously for the first time and increasing our number of guests to 35 each night, to running the Wednesday Club, our weekly...

read more