Innovative solution to help people sleeping rough launches in Wales

Wednesday, 13 January 2016 - 10:34am

StreetLink, a service that uses mobile technology to allow members of the public to help people sleeping rough, has launched today in Wales. 

This follows the success of StreetLink in supporting people off the streets in England.

  • 64% increase in rough sleeping in Cardiff in the last 2 years
  • Research shows that more than half (55%) of people have felt guilty walking past someone sleeping rough and wished there was something they could do to help
  • StreetLink allows members of the public to send an alert about the location of someone sleeping rough to the services nearby that can help
  • Visit www.streetlink.org.uk or call 0300 500 0914.

Anyone concerned about someone sleeping rough in Wales can tell StreetLink via the mobile-enabled website or phone-line. StreetLink will alert the local authority homelessness team who will use the information provided to try and find the individual and connect them with support.

Since launching in December 2012 in England, StreetLink has sent more than 35,500 alerts to local services and connected 15,500 people with support, including almost 3,000 helped into accommodation.

Research shows that 84% of people who sleep rough have physical health problems, and 87% suffer from mental health issues. The annual costs of medical treatment alone for a person sleeping rough, can range from £6,468 to £44,612, compared with an average estimated cost of £1,600 per year for the general population.

StreetLink engages the local community in tackling rough sleeping and the information they provide leads to a more effective response. This benefits both individuals and the wider community.  

The Welsh Government has funded the expansion of the service, which is delivered in partnership by the charities Homeless Link and St Mungo’s. The Wales partner for StreetLink is The Wallich, who will provide a Welsh language service, support local promotion and whose frontline staff will receive many of the referrals.

Matt Harrison, Director of StreetLink, said:

“We are delighted to be extending the service into Wales and continuing the success we’ve had in supporting people out of rough sleeping in England. The longer someone sleeps rough, the greater the risk of them developing complex problems that can be hard to overcome.

Providing information about where people are sleeping rough through StreetLink helps ensure vulnerable individuals are found and helped off the streets sooner. Next time you see someone sleeping rough, send an alert via www.streetlink.org.uk or call 0300 500 0914.”

Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, Welsh Government, said:   

“With the cold weather setting in, I am pleased to support the StreetLink project in Wales, which will provide a lifeline to many of Wales’ most vulnerable people, when they need it most.

“Sleeping rough is dangerous and can seriously affect people’s physical and mental health. I encourage anyone who sees somebody living on the streets to get in touch with the project so they can get the support they vitally need.” 

Talk To Us

Stephen Holland

Stephen served as our Communications Officer until January 2016.

Concerned about someone sleeping rough?

Help connect them to local support. Visit streetlink.org.uk or download the app.