How you can help someone sleeping rough

Since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, Homeless Link, StreetLink and our partners have been contacted by many people asking how they can help those within their communities who are homeless or sleeping rough. 

New initiatives are  in place to help protect vulnerable people, and on Friday 27 March, the Government wrote to local authorities to ask them to house all rough sleepers by the end of the week, to prevent the virus from spreading and enable them to self-isolate. However, in reality, this process is taking some time. 

Here are 6 actions you can take: 

  • If you see someone sleeping rough, send an alert to StreetLink, which will enable local services to go out and make contact with the individual in order to house them and connect them with support. www.streetlink.org.uk 
  • Stop and have a conversation with people you see sleeping rough. Social interaction and support are more important than ever at this time. Remember to maintain a respectful distance in line with social distancing guidelines. 
  • Consider supporting your local homelessness service with a donation, no matter how small. They will greatly appreciate your support at this difficult time as they adapt and continue working to support vulnerable people. Some may be looking for volunteers too. Find local services 
  • Volunteer to help vulnerable people in your community by joining your local Covid-19 mutual aid group or volunteering hub, which have now been set up by most local areas. Check out these websites: www.covidmutualaid.orgwww.volunteeringmatters.org.ukwww.handsonlondon.org.uk 
  • Donate food to your local food bank as they are currently experiencing shortages of essential goods. Find a food bank
  • If you see someone in urgent need of medical attention, please call 111 or 999. 

Please remember to help safely by continuing to follow the guidelines set out by the Government and Public Health England regarding social distancing, handwashing and hygiene.