We Chat to Framework Night Support Worker Jordan Francis Ahead of Beat The Streets

Interview: Lawrence Poole
Monday 22 January 2024
reading time: min, words

Ahead of this weekend’s Beat The Streets festival - founded in 2018 by Nottingham promotors DHP in conjunction with Framework - we caught up with night support worker Jordan Francis to find out more about the challenges he faces and the role music can play in shining a light on an a spiralling issue...

Jordan Aka Vandal Savage

Hi Jordan, how long you been in this role?
I’ve been with Framework now for seven months, before that I was in a similar field but with a different company working with teens rather than adults.

How have you found the experience so far?
I can’t lie, it’s been challenging but the right amount of challenge if that makes sense. What I’ve had to come up against so far has made me more confident in myself knowing that I’m delivering a very good level of care.

How does you average working day look?
Because I work at night, I’m there for a lot of emotional support and can set up a lot of appointments for the day time and things like that. I work four days on and four days off from half nine at night until half eight in the morning then get some rest during the day.

Winter has really arrived this week – how has been working through it?
So, since the temperature’s dropped below freezing, SWEP (Severe Weather Emergency Protocol) beds were made available, there’s not a lot, but they can call the Street Outreach Team and see if there’s beds available. They get put on a list and if there’s one available, they’ll get a bed for the night so they can stay out of the cold. It’s been going well, the beds are getting used, it’s just a shame we couldn’t have more.  

During your seven months have you seen a big increase in homelessness in the city?
To be fair, yes. A lot of spaces which are prolific for rough sleepers have become more crowded and now the temperatures have dropped, I’m seeing a lot more people coming in who haven’t been put on the list. 

Apart from the crucial issue of more beds, is there anything else you think local or national Government could do to step into help with?
There is a lot that local and national Government could do. Even when the temperature hasn’t dropped, there should be some emergency beds available - we shouldn’t have to wait for it to be in the minus. There are vulnerable people out there who aren’t getting a bed who should be.

What is the most important thing Framework does on a day-to-day basis for these people?
The most important thing is to give them guidance and support – not only with getting a house but a range of things with mental health and supporting their emotional needs. We are there to listen.

Is it fair to say one really important role is helping them get back on their feet, so if and when they do get a home, they can cope a bit better?
This is it. We’re giving them all the tools that we think they’re going to need to sustain themselves and their living situation. 

So, Framework’s huge fundraiser Beat The Streets (£409,000 since forming six years ago) takes this place on Sunday – have you attended before?
I’ve actually performed at the festival! In 2018, I was homeless and performed at Beat The Streets – I enjoyed it and I love what’s it’s for. I’ve been homeless twice before. It’s an amazing platform to give artists to get the message across.

Where did you play?
I think it was either Stealth or Bodega. I’m a solo act (stage name Vandal Savage) but I performed with a friend Juga-Naut. I’m going to be performing at this year’s Beat The Streets too doing a solo set at Bodega at half past three. 

What style of music do you play?
I do hip-hop and I’m a rapper. I’ve been doing it in Nottingham city since the age of fourteen I’d say. I’m also part of another super group with Nottingham called VVV, which is me, Juga-Naut and Cappo. 

In terms your own tastes – what are you listening to at the moment?
Right now, from my city, I’m tapped into Jimmy Rocket, Snowy, and, Melonyx, they’re another amazing act from Nottingham. There’s a lot of people from the city who I’m locking into because there’s a lot of talent.

Returning to Framework, how important is the money raised at the event and the work Framework can do as a result?
It so important because it lets us do the SWEP beds again, and not only when it’s too cold, in other circumstances – it’s going to help in all circumstances.  

Beat The Streets takes place on Sunday 28 January, you can book tickets or find out more about their work with Framework here

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