Building Trust with The Brick
While support with mental and physical health is crucial, building trust with participants can be invaluable. We hear from The Brick on how their relationships with participants can change lives.
Alongside crucial care such as drug and alcohol services, building trusted relationships is one of the most valuable ways to provide holistic support to those living on the streets.
Aaron* had seen all of his relationships break down. He was living with his Grandfather in Wigan, who sadly passed away and due to a family issue, Aaron was forced to leave the property. After living with this partner and their two children, the relationship broke down and he was forced to return back to the Wigan area, with no home to go to.
Aaron was facing some mental health problems, with his situation understandably taking a toll on his morale. He also needed support with alcohol use, and so The Brick’s team sprung into action, lining up a place in the net shelter, access to groups and activity sessions, support with accessing benefits and a dedicated asset coach.
The Brick worked hard and managed to secure Aaron a place in supported housing. However, within a month Aaron was back at The Brick in an emotional state, expressing concerns around his ability to cope in his tenancy.
When his asset coach met with Aaron, he said that he struggled to cope with the eclectic mix of personalities in the shared environment. Also, the night time comings and goings of other residents’ guests and the subsequent banging of the fire door directly under his window made the environment untenable for him.
While they looked for more suitable accommodation, The Brick team worked with Aaron to identify his passions and goals, and what he needed to achieve. The team then put forward a case for him to access The Brick’s supported housing project. Alongside providing suitable accommodation, the supporting housing project has an expectation that individuals engage in a meaningful activity while living there. This was discussed this in length with Aaron to ensure that he understood and was happy to embark on this, and he was adamant it was just what he needed.
Aaron is now volunteering in a café and at a community allotment. He is on track to complete his food hygiene course, giving him a qualification to support employment when the time is right.
Although Aaron faced issues in his first tenancy, his relationship with his asset coach and the wider Brick team meant that he was able to access further support and find a home that was right for him.
He has been able to build positive social relationships with likeminded people and has gained access to a work skills programme which has allowed him to develop his existing skill set and develop a sense of purpose again. He has reduced his alcohol intake, now drinking socially.
In this case, strong relationships built around trust were key. Aaron may not have accessed the supported housing and volunteering opportunities if The Brick team hadn’t ensured their support was personalised to Aaron, and worked hard to build up trust.
*Not his real name