Combatting Destitution Project and Coventry Rough Sleepers Team

The Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre collaborate with a number of statutory services and organisations in an effort to support the users, of all our services, in the most effective way possible. Collaboration between the Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre and Coventry City Council, particularly through the Combatting Destitution Project (with Rough Sleeper’s Navigators: Sylvia and Nana) and the Rough Sleepers Team, is a positive approach to addressing the complex issues of homelessness, especially for vulnerable populations like refugees and migrants. Such partnerships often lead to more comprehensive and tailored support for those in need.

A day in the life of a Rough Sleeper Outreach Worker varies considerably on a day-to-day basis. Today, I shadowed one of the team and my day went a little bit like this:

It was an early start, with outreach work beginning to check on any known rough sleepers or reports coming in from members of the public for any individuals rough sleeping around Coventry. With this, if individuals are located, they are asked to attend JCT based in Coventry City Centre – they are also reminded of places where they can access hot food, clothing, showers, and support for their identified needs.

After this, a flash meeting is conducted from 9AM. Where staff from Change Grow Live and the Coventry Refugee Centre all attend, alongside the Rough Sleeper Team to understand the position of some individuals found that morning on outreach. In this meeting, all teams bring their expertise in providing feedback and action plans that suit the specific needs of clients located that morning and those who are receiving ongoing support. This collaborative effort likely results in a more holistic and inclusive approach to tackling homelessness in Coventry, with the ultimate goal of helping these individuals find stable housing, employment, and support in their integration into the community.

A follow-up procedure is then complete, to check on those who were located that morning – the follow up process is required, so that a further welfare check can be completed but also, to ensure that they are made aware of the services they can access during the day. Sometimes, a respite offer is provided so that they can sleep indoors that night. – Sadly, some offers are rejected by the service users.

Throughout the day, Outreach Workers continue to meet the needs of their clients in an incredibly important and compassionate way. They play a vital role in supporting individuals experiencing homelessness and ensuring they receive the necessary care and assistance. Here are some key aspects of their work:

1.      Temporary Accommodation: Outreach Workers help individuals find temporary accommodation, such as emergency housing, providing them with a safe place to stay, especially during extreme weather conditions.

2.      Assisting with Travel: They assist clients in reaching appointments, whether those are related to healthcare, social services, or any other necessary meetings. Transportation can often be a barrier for homeless individuals, and this support is crucial.

3.      Providing Food and Clothing: Outreach Workers offer essential resources like food and clothing, addressing the basic needs of their clients. This helps individuals maintain their health and dignity.

4.      Creating Safe Spaces: Outreach Workers also serve as a safe and non-judgmental space for individuals to talk about their worries, issues, or challenges. This emotional support can be just as important as the physical assistance.

5.      Faster access to housing assessments and drug & alcohol treatment: Outreach workers are able to complete roadside assessments for housing, and drug & alcohol treatment, providing effective and reachable services for all.

By addressing these various needs, Outreach Workers contribute significantly to the overall well-being of the homeless population and help them take steps towards a more stable and secure future. Their work is a testament to the commitment and empathy shown by those dedicated to addressing homelessness and its associated issues.

The Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre may bring their knowledge in working with refugees and migrants to the table, helping to identify and address the specific challenges and needs of these groups within the rough sleeper population. Staff working within the Rough Sleepers Team, offer cultural sensitivity, language support, and guidance on legal and immigration issues, which can be crucial for individuals who are homeless and also dealing with migration-related challenges.

The collaboration between Coventry City Council Rough Sleepers Team and Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre, plays a significant role in addressing homelessness and its associated challenges in the community.

You can access further information via the Coventry City Council website:

If you would like to support this work, please donate to the Combatting Destitution Fund, by emailing: with the subject, “Combatting Destitution Project”

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