Heather Hawthorn & Alya Hassan, Assertive OUtreach Workers

1 August 2019

Wirral’s YMCA has been serving the community for 145 years and are excited to announce a brand-new initiative – ASSERTIVE OUTREACH, which is taking a proactive approach towards the borough’s homelessness crisis.

Funded by the Ministry of Housing, communities and Local Government (MHCLG), the bid was written by Wirral Council and awarded to YMCA Wirral for service implementation.

Initially launching with 3 outreach workers, currently in training, the scheme is designed to deliver real help and support directly to those sleeping rough. This service is commissioned as an outreach service that will go out onto the streets, borough wide, in order to contact people that are, or appear to be, sleeping rough to provide practical housing related support and to encourage them to access mainstream homeless accommodation services and/or secure permanent accommodation.

This will be achieved by the Assertive Outreach workers patrolling the streets between the hours of 10pm and 6am, nightly. The service will address the needs of the wider community by reducing the number of people sleeping rough. The Assertive Team will commence patrolling 7 nights a week from 5th August 2019.

Jacqui Miles, YMCA Wirral’s Deputy Director said “We are very enthusiastic about this scheme. Homelessness in the borough is reaching crisis levels. Our existing night shelter provided almost 5,000 bed nights to the growing number of street homeless individuals in the last 12 months alone”.

During her training at the YMCA, Alya Hassan, Assertive Outreach worker (far right in the picture) said, “We are not just trying to provide safety and security to rough sleepers, but we believe the scheme will help provide a safer environment for the wider community”.

Heather Hawthorn (far left in the picture), taking up her new post, also at the YMCA yesterday said, “I am really excited about this new project. We have now got the funding to get hands on with rough sleepers to provide them with real solutions, whilst trying to break down any barriers that may be stopping them engaging with services that can help them”.