At the best of times, people in big cities get stuck and lost in systems they need to survive. Often the first step towards finding our way out of a crisis is to encounter a real human being. People in crisis often crash into systems, programmes, and on-hold music weeks before they can connect with the relevant resources they need to rebuild their lives. Roadmap was designed as a response to a rough sleeping crisis in our local area. The aim was to create a flexible model of service that could in effect to go where our drop-in could not go and do what our other services were less equipped to accomplish.
The project provides flexible support work, advice and practical financial help for people experiencing an accommodation crisis. In June 2019 we helped 72 people avoid rough sleeping for the first time and between June 2019 and Feb 2002 we helped 176 people to access accommodation and employment opportunities.
The London Jesus Centre launched Roadmap in 2018 to focus on two areas:
: After 10 years of working with 40 drop-in visitors a day, we saw how frustrating it was when short term practical obstacles became the catalyst for long term homelessness.
– After 10 years of providing building based basic services, we saw how standardised support, however good and important, often risked people getting lost in a wider system that didn’t address their priority needs.
In summary, we needed the flexibility to quickly identify where people were stuck and find creative solutions that were relevant.
Paul had been awake for the better part of 48 hours when he contacted us by email. A string of bad luck and a nasty car accident left him wondering the streets of London immediately after his hospital discharge. He had one shot at turning things around in the form of a job interview the next day. Roadmap was able to help by purchasing 4 nights in a local travel hostel and topping up his mobile so he could return the employment agency’s call. All of this buying him the time and the critical breathing space to rest and plan his life.
Paul, who is now off the streets and in full-time employment remarked:
“I can’t thank you enough. My worst fear in all this was how long everything might take. Everyone I met on the streets told me it would be months before I got anything sorted. If it wasn’t for you guys I think I’d be going in circles.”