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Concerned about a rough sleeper

What is rough sleeping?

Rough sleeping is defined as "People sleeping, about to bed down (sitting on/in or standing next to their bedding) or actually bedded down, in the open air (such as on the streets, in tents, doorways, parks, bus shelters or encampments).  People in buildings or other places not designed for habitation".

If someone is begging, they must be rough sleeping, right?

Begging and rough sleeping don't always go hand-in-hand; not all people who are begging are rough sleeping and vice-versa.

If someone is begging on the streets during the day it may not necessarily be in the same place they sleep at night. This means when outreach teams go out at night with information from an alert made during the day, they may not be able to find the person you were concerned about.  This does not mean that your alert to StreetLink is wasted - it's always better to get in touch about someone you think may be rough sleeping so that local services can provide support if needed.

How do I make a Streetlink referral?

If from what you can tell, the person is rough sleeping, You can send StreetLink an alert about someone sleeping rough via: 


Mobile app: ‘StreetLink’ from Apple iTunes / Google Play store

Phone: 0300 500 0914   The service can get busy so wherever possible StreetLink ask the public to use either their website or mobile app.

What happens after I have made a referral?

StreetLink processes alerts and passes them on to the Council, which will passes the referral to its outreach worker.  The outreach worker will visit as soon as they can but this may take a number of days. 

Every situation is different but usually the outreach worker assesses the person.  They will then work with them to look at solutions to try and end their rough sleeping; one of these options might be temporary accommodation.  However, this work can sometimes take time, meaning that you might not see a change in the person's situation straight away although support is being offered.

The Council provides feedback to StreetLink on the outcome of the alert within 14 working days.