Advice & Support
We may not be able to change the world, but we can change our guests’ worlds. And it starts with a chat.
We see our shelter as the beginning of the conversation, not the end of it. We aim to help the homeless back on their feet in a more enduring way, with ongoing support that creates a lasting impact. By creating an environment where our guests feel mutually supported and safe we help them focus on taking positive steps out of homelessness.
Making a lasting difference is some of our most satisfying work.
Our advice work 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
“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
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.
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.
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.