Case study – Max*

Max* had been rough sleeping under the railway arches in Worcester for over five years. He was classed as an entrenched rough sleeper. Due to the new development in this area, he was asked to leave by the site owners. He moved to a tent as he had nowhere else to go.

Max’s engagement with statutory services, charities and others, up until recently, had been minimal. Though many rough sleepers were housed by the Government during lockdown, he remained on the streets.

Maggs looked after Max. Initially Max was not keen on daily visits and would ignore the food drop-offs and feign sleep when our staff came to check on him. But over the months Max began to warm to us and share his experiences and we learned of how he ended up there and his reasons for not wanting to engage with us.

Like many rough sleepers, Max was a victim of substance misuse. Now he decided to detox and went through heroin withdrawal independently without any assistance or medication. He made a decision that he did not want to live or associate with any area or person who could possibly tempt him back into that lifestyle.

When Maggs started our new accommodation project, we thought of Max for one of our new flats and he expressed an interest. A viewing was arranged. He viewed the property and immediately wanted it. He became very emotional and could not believe that the property could be his after so long on the streets. He has now settled into his new home, but only had the confidence to do so because he had a support worker from Maggs to help him. Without Maggs, Max would still be living on the streets today.

*Not his real name

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