“…a large part of my role is building rapport with clients”
As a local resident, homelessness is a visible problem and has become more of a problem over the years since I moved here. I feel strongly opposed to the austerity that we are living in and wanted to give back with my free time. I enjoy the work I do at the 999 Club but more so, I wanted to support the centre and the services it provides.
The work I do varies a great deal day to day, depending on what needs doing. Normal tasks include making tea and coffee for clients, doing laundry and helping keep the centre clean and tidy. I also do initial and full assessments with clients which involves looking at their history and identifying what support they need from us. I do a lot of advocacy work for clients such as calling the benefits and housing departments for them. In general, a large part of my role is building rapport with clients so they feel comfortable in the centre and responding to their needs.
I get a sense that the time I spend here is meaningful and valuable. It makes me feel like I’m doing something to help a problem that affects a lot of people locally. I feel I am constantly learning and making sure I’m doing the best job I can to represent the 999 Club and its values. My experiences here and what I get out of it are shaped by the service users and trying to support the wide variety of people who access the centre. It has changed my perspective on homeless people and now rather than seeing them as a generalised group, I see them as individuals who have a variety of reasons as to why they are now homeless not just personal circumstances but also political such as the rise of bedroom tax.