Alice is a Critical Time Intervention Worker at Streets2Homes in Harlow.

She began as a volunteer for the charity when she was just 14 years old.

She took the time to tell us what she enjoys most about her work with Harlow’s homeless.

Download Alice’s story as a pdf here.

I started off my journey at Streets2Homes at the age of 14 as a volunteer. I’ve worked my way up to a Critical Time Intervention Worker, which involves working with the most vulnerable people. We take a phased, handholding approach to support people to be able to stay in long term accommodation. Our aim is to avoid the ‘revolving door’ – where people come to us and then end up back on the streets.

l love working for Streets2Homes and my work is something I’ve been very passionate about since a young age. I get to see, first-hand, the difference we make to people’s lives.  We provide services that are just not available anywhere else.

Streets2Homes is a Harlow-based charity which benefits the local community and homeless adults in Harlow. In my opinion, if it wasn’t for us, there would be many more rough sleepers on the streets. Our service involves ‘outreach’ and ‘in reach’. Outreach means going out and talking to people that are sleeping on the streets, in reach is where they come to us for help.

Our service is not just for people who have issues

with mental health, or people that have issues with addiction. Anyone can become homeless!

This week I’ve seen:

  • An 18-year-old, who was kicked out of her Mum’s house
  • A 52-year-old person that’s lost their job and now they can’t afford private rent anymore
  • People that just have been renting for so long and now they’ve lost their accommodation, they can’t afford a deposit for a new home

We’re here to help everyone, not just the street sleepers. I see people from all walks of life, and I help them. All.

Our phased approaches and successful interventions mean that we’ve helped people to thrive in accommodation. That’s something I am so proud to be a part of.

Homelessness is not a recent thing, but in 2022/23 we are facing a cost-of-living crisis which has a knock-on effect with housing. Many people cannot afford to rent privately. People either can’t get onto the housing ladder with a deposit, or they get evicted because they cannot keep up with their rent. People don’t have any spare cash to save, and if they can’t get a deposit, we can help them find suitable accommodation. We have lots of options.

In particular, we support people who are struggling to stay in accommodation and maintain their tenancies. It’s common for people to fail in tenancies, but we’ve got a good team and we are able to give the maximum support.

Our aim is to help people maintain what they have and to teach them to budget. If they are facing a crisis, we have access to other services, such as our essential living fund and Harlow food banks. Once we get people into accommodation, we know they will have the ability to be able to establish themselves.

With our budgeting help and other services, we give them the opportunity to get on top of things. Once they can start to manage their own finances, they can start to get their life back in order.

Most of the time, it works out well, but we’re always there, if they ever need to come back to us for more support in the future too.