Many clients who seek help from First Base, our day centre for people who are sleeping rough, have multiple and complex needs. When helping a person move away from rough sleeping and into more secure accommodation, the case workers at First Base consider all the physical and mental health needs a client may have. This approach helped Jim get off the streets. Read his story below.

“Before I came to First Base, I had lost my supported accommodation and was rough sleeping on the streets. On my first visit to First Base, one of their case workers asked me if I wanted to work with them to complete a Support Needs Assessment so we could work out what help I needed. They were understanding and they listened to everything I had to say. Based on what I told them, they referred me to Housing Options at Brighton and Hove City Council. They said I would likely be a Priority Need for Housing, which made me feel hopeful.

I have a lot of support needs, including an organic brain injury, chronic alcohol use, and epilepsy. Sometimes I can appear chaotic and drunk, which makes it hard for me to get help from other services. The staff at First Base got to know me and they were able to help me talk to other services who could help me. They acted as a go-between and helped me to understand what I needed to do to get the help I wanted.

First Base helped me to find a place in local authority emergency accommodation. However, because of my brain injury and alcohol use, I kept forgetting where I was supposed to be staying. I would go back to First Base and say I was homeless, even though I wasn’t. The staff at First Base always helped me to get back to my accommodation safely, and also arranged for welfare officers at the Council and the Health Inclusion Team to check on me and make sure I was okay.

While I was at First Base, I had a few epileptic seizures. The staff were well trained, and they were able to help me manage them safely. I could stay in their medical room whilst I recovered. I asked them to help me arrange for a nurse from the Health Inclusion Team to assess my health which helped me work out what I needed to feel well.

Additionally, First Base helped me to follow up on a referral that had been made to Adult Social Care when I was in my last accommodation. They supported me to meet with my Social Worker and to do a Care Act Assessment. After this, social services were able to help me find accommodation that met my needs, with a support in place to help me sustain it.

First Base recognised that I had a lot of different support needs and that it was hard for me to get help from other services. They saw my strengths and I built a good relationship with the staff. They worked with lots of different services to make sure I got the help I needed, and they prevented me from ending up back on the streets.”

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