Anyone can become homeless and sleeping rough can be dangerous, putting health at risk. Understanding how you can aid rough sleepers is vital to helping them off the street, connecting them to the local services available.
What is a rough sleeper?
The term 'rough sleeper' refers to people who are street homeless, with no access to accommodation. Rough sleepers may sleep in tents, doorways, alleyways or subways, amongst other places.
If you find someone sleeping rough, you can report it via:
- The national service website StreetLink
- The phone, calling StreetLink on their 24/7 number 0300 500 0914.
- Or even through the StreetLink app, available on both Android and Apple products.
If you ever see a rough sleeper and want to make a report please make note of any details you can, such as their location, buildings nearby, clothes they are wearing etc.
Locally, the homeless charity St Mungos provide that all-important outreach work for rough sleepers.
When a report is made on StreetLink, the local Task and Reconnection Officer will be notified and investigate, working closely with Basildon Council's Housing Options team as well as a wide array of volunteers.
Severe weather provision
We also have the option to provide temporary accommodation to rough sleepers when very cold weather is forecast, at less than 0 degrees for 3 days, for the duration of the bad weather. When this type of weather occurs and it is accepted that the rough sleeper has nowhere to go, then temporary accommodation will be offered alongside advice for a limited period only.
What about those that are on the street but may not be rough sleeping?
Some people who appear to be sleeping rough may be engaged in street activities, such as drinking or begging, but in fact have somewhere to stay.
They may need a different type of response from local services, and this may mean that you do not see a change straight away.
This doesn't mean your alert to StreetLink is wasted, it is always better to get in touch about someone you think may be rough sleeping, so that local services can provide support if needed.