What we’re doing to help rough sleepers in Southampton this winter – and how you can help too

Tuesday December 10th, 2019

Now winter is setting in and the weather is turning colder, we are putting measures in place, and working with partner agencies across the city, to provide support and accommodation for rough sleepers.housing_9592615Sml

What is the council doing?
Although the official government criteria for Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) has not been formally met, we are now providing extra emergency accommodation for rough sleepers who want shelter from the cold and those who are imminently at risk of having to sleep on the street.
This is in addition to the usual spaces we, alongside our partners, provide throughout the year. More spaces are provided over the winter period when people are more likely to accept our help and come indoors.
As well as the cold weather provision, there are extra beds within the city’s main homeless hostels during periods of severe cold weather. There are currently sufficient bed spaces for rough sleepers who are willing to accept an offer of accommodation.
Our Street Homeless Prevention Team will be carrying out more outreach work on the streets to locate rough sleepers and will be encouraging those found sleeping out to take up the offers of help.
What should I do if I see rough sleepers in need of help?
People needing emergency shelter can approach us themselves by attending at the Homeless Day Centre situated at 30 Cranbury Avenue, Southampton SO14 0LT. The day centre provides facilities for people to have a shower, use the laundry, enjoy a hot meal, access IT equipment and receive health advice from medical professionals.
However, if you’re worried about a rough sleeper, please contact the Street Homeless Prevention Team on 023 8083 2343 or via email. It’s useful if you can share some information about the person, such as:
Their name/nickname
If they’re male or female
Their approximate age
A description
Where and when you saw them
You don’t have to give us your own details but it might be helpful if we need to contact you for more information.
Remember you can also report rough sleepers in any part of the country on the national reporting site Street Link
What if there’s an emergency related to a rough sleeper?
Please call 999 if you see someone who is unwell or distressed. Don’t put yourself in danger or approach someone acting strangely, even to help.
Should I give money to a rough sleeper?

Whether or not you choose to give money to rough sleepers is a personal choice. Many people feel much more comfortable donating to established charities to make sure money goes towards someone who is homeless, rather than someone begging to sustain an addiction. You could offer someone a hot drink or some food, or simply stop to chat to them for a while.
Our partner agencies provide regularly updated information on the Street Support website. This online service not only allows those in need to find help, but also shows others where they can give help.
Keep an eye on our website and social media channels as we’ll be launching some new giving points soon.
How can I volunteer to help rough sleepers in Southampton?

If you’re interested in doing more to help rough sleepers in the city, please head to the Street Support website, where you can find lots of information and advice about volunteering.


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