StreetLink community spotlight - Adam

Adam S. is a senior phone line shift leader. In the first half of 2020, he shared his experiences of working for the service during the Coronavirus outbreak.

What has changed at StreetLink since the outbreak of COVID-19?

“Like much of the country, we at StreetLink have moved to home-based work. While we are fortunate that the service can be run remotely, physically moving away from a very close knit team that was able to support each other has been challenging, as has the loss of our brilliant volunteers*.

How have you adapted to provide support for people sleeping rough?

“I have always felt that StreetLink thrives in times change, whether during emergency severe weather plans or policy changes – the service picks it up and embraces it. I haven’t seen this more so than currently. The team has had to adapt and improvise and there is a deep sense of understanding of the importance of our work at this busy time. Our volume of calls has tripled over the past weeks, with many more calls directly from people who are sleeping rough. The team has continued to work hard to answer as many calls as possible, vitally ensuring that these individuals are connected with support to help end their rough sleeping in such unprecedented times.

Do you have a message for people who want to help those sleeping rough at this time?

“It is more important than ever for you to let us know if you see someone sleeping rough, as services are working rapidly to provide self-contained accommodation for all those living on the streets during the Coronavirus outbreak. I would encourage members of public to please use our website and app to inform us of someone who is rough sleeping where they can. We are exceptionally busy on our phones, and want to ensure we are able to speak in person to as many people who are currently rough sleeping as possible, at this difficult time. By alerting us, anyone can play a key part in helping people off the streets, resulting in deeply positive long term changes to thousands of lives.”

*Due to the sensitive and challenging nature of answering calls to StreetLink, a staff member must be present to support and mentor our volunteers. As this is no longer possible due to remote working, our volunteers are off duty at this time, but we look forward to welcoming them back in future.