A day in the life: Keith Leveridge, our Meet and Greet Worker, Collingwood

Meet Keith. Keith is our Meet and Greet Worker at our Initial Assessment and Planning (IAP) service in Collingwood. IAPs provide individuals and families in housing crisis with housing support as well as offering information and advice.

Keith Leveridge, Meet and Greet worker, Launch Housing, CollingwoodKeith has a lived experience of homelessness and has recently started his role as a Meet and Greet Worker with us. Here we chat to him about a typical day in his role:

How did the Meet and Greet Worker role come about?
The Meet and Greet Worker is part of a six month pilot project which was developed following feedback from clients. Sometimes coming to an IAP service can be a daunting experience, with people often waiting a long time before they are able to see a Support Worker due to a variety of reasons. The Meet and Greet role aims to make clients feel welcomed and more at ease.

What’s a typical day like for you?
In my role, I aim to reduce the anxiety and worry of clients visiting the IAP. I am someone who has been homeless so I understand some of what they are going through. In a typical day I will greet people arriving at the IAP. Sometimes they want to talk, sometimes they just want a hot cup of coffee while they wait to see a Support Worker. I try to explain the process to them, including some of the reasons their waiting time may be long, and also let them know about other local services who can help them with free food, clothes and other essentials.

What kind of people do you meet as part of your role?
I meet people from all walks of life in the waiting room, from people who are sleeping rough to families without a safe home. I meet single people, couples, LGBTI people, Indigenous people, refugees and asylum seekers and people that might be experiencing alcohol and other drug issues or mental health concerns.

What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy meeting people and engaging with them, letting them talk and feel that they are being listened to, treating them with a respect and not judging them. It’s also brilliant to see a client when we can find them somewhere to stay and they are just so relieved. When I was homeless, I had some amazing people who helped me and I love that in this role, I am hopefully able to help people in a similar way.