Street Work involves walking along the streets of London at night, usually after 9pm. We go out to offer a cup of tea or coffee and a sandwich, and spend some time with and talk to people.
We do so representing Simon and our philosophy of acceptance, tolerance, and understanding. We aim to develop supportive relationships with those who are vulnerable and isolated. Meeting people for the first time is a chance to build a rapport with them and to try to understand their needs.
The majority of homeless people are isolated, at best they are ignored, and at worst they are abused. To have a conversation with those who have been socially excluded is to see them as fellow human beings. It is a start to building trust where there is an expectation of fear and disapproval, and where prejudice and discrimination are faced every day. We have been unable to run large, static services during the pandemic and have done all our work through streetwork, taking the support directly to the doorways. As well as food, hot drinks and human contact, we have also taken generously donated clothes, sleeping bags, toiletries, masks and information and invitations to get vaccinated without ID. As always, the help we offer is entirely on the terms of the guests we serve.