Church Homeless Trust

Rebuilding broken lives

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Street Buddies

Date posted: 22 Apr 2013

A group of former rough sleepers are being trained as outreach workers to help get entrenched rough sleepers off the streets in Westminster.


The Street Buddies project, which began in January this year, is being run by our partner Riverside English Churches Housing Group.   The Street Buddies group are being trained on issues such as substance use, mental health, professional boundaries and knowledge of the range of care services available.


One of the group to be certified is former rough sleeper Mariusz who began sleeping rough after his life spiralled out of control following the end of his marriage.  He became addicted to drugs and stole to feed his habit.  He said:


“Because we’ve all been there ourselves. We know how to relate to people on the street. I really do want to connect with these people and tell them there is an alternative.”


The group has a unique set of skills and experience which is helping them to engage with entrenched rough sleepers to help turn their lives around.


Natalie Lodge, Street Buddies co-ordinator, said: “This is a very exciting project that has the potential to change the way services are delivered in the future.  We are using the expertise and knowledge that already exists on the street.  Homeless people are part of the solution not the problem.


Church Housing Trust is proud to be associated with this innovative project and is providing funding for professional development sessions, additional training and clothing.  

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