Social Inclusion for Older Homeless People
We believe that life is for living and will be increasing support on offer to homeless people above the age of 55 with an innovative programme of Groups & Activities. These will focus on building up people's social networks and facilitating access to meaningful occupation in the local community
April 2018 - April 2019
Charity information: The Connection at St Martin's - helping homeless people in London
Last year, 589 homeless people over the age of 55 accessed our services. They are some of the most disadvantaged in our society. A significant proportion have suffered childhood abuse, struggle with poor physical and mental health, have been in institutions and are long-term unemployed. Whilst many projects cater for younger homeless people, older homeless people are often overlooked and socially excluded with little access to meaningful occupation and almost all spend their day entirely alone.
Our project will engage marginalised homeless people over 55 by encouraging them to access our Groups & Activities, like the weekly 'Rough Sleepers Support Group'. This group aims to provide a safe and welcoming space for those who have been on the streets the longest and are most resistant to changing their situations. It fosters an inclusive social environment so entrenched homeless people can engage with us and the local community enabling them to live happier and more fulfilled lives.
To foster a socially inclusive environment for older homeless people
Activities» We will run a weekly 'Rough Sleepers Support Group' so staff and volunteers can befriend older clients encouraging conversations and friendships.
» Members of our in-house volunteering scheme, Step Up, will be asked to encourage their older peers to participate in this group.
» Staff from our outreach, Night Centre and Day Centre teams will also encourage older homeless people in to the group.
Clients in attendance and returning weekly to these sessions, participating well with staff, volunteers and peers, developing social networks, breaking down exclusion.
To increase participation in the local community for older homeless people
Activities» Run a programme of Groups & Activities such as art, gardening, singing, mindfulness and discussion groups for anger management, gambling and more.
» Offer engaged clients the opportunity to volunteer in facilitating the sessions in partnership with our Step Up programme.
» Encourage clients to progress to engaging with the wider community through local volunteering initiatives and group excursions to local attractions.
An increase in older people attending Groups & Activities and involvement in in-house and external volunteering.
To enable older homeless people to live a happy and fulfilling life
Activities» Connection staff will be at all workshops and sessions to offer advice and support to those in crisis.
» We will listen to the needs and desires of older homeless people and facilitate these wherever possible.
» We hope that this initiative will engage those hardest to reach and will result in them moving away from homelessness into a brighter future.
An increase in confidence and well-being and engagement in move-on services by older and long-term rough sleepers.
This project will meaningfully engage a group of older clients who are socially excluded and lacking in confidence, are likely to suffer from poor physical and mental health, often long-term unemployed, coping with complex needs and are either rough sleeping or in temporary hostel accommodation. This project will build social networks and give access to meaningful occupation. We will continue this project year after year.
A number of older homeless people who use our service have lived on the streets long-term and are entrenched with complex needs. This can sometimes make progress slow and there are set backs. Our service staff have highly specialised training and are patient and understanding working with each person on an individual basis ensuring their needs are met.
Funders of this project will receive bi-annual updates from us and will be invited in to visit our centre and to meet some of our beneficiaries.
Budget - Project Cost: £10,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £6,500 Staff Specialist staff in attendance £2,200 Consumables Food, drink and equipment £1,300 Facilities Heat, light and cleaning
The Connection at St-Martin-in-the-Fields
12 Adelaide Street
Homeless people who use our service over the age of 55
The Connection at St Martin's has a history of helping homeless people stretching back almost 100 years. We are the UK's largest specialist organisation working with rough sleepers and have a proven track record of successfully helping people to turn their lives around and leave behind self-destructive street lifestyles. We have a user-led philosophy, and homeless people are consulted at all levels - this project being a prime example.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Steve is our Groups & Activities Coordinator and is overseeing this project. He is passionate about giving disadvantaged people access to opportunity.